22. Roads of Erstwhile.

One fascinating aspect of the Floyd County landscape is the presence of roads that lead only into the past. They may be remnants left behind by a later one–by a deeper cut or a higher fill made in order to diminish a grade or expand the radius of a curve. They may blocked off, overgrown, or still used locally or even personally. Perhaps “old road” could include the former automobile racetrack behind the Hollingsworth and Vose plant.

They may still bear traffic but the original transportation can only be imagined:

stagecoach-run-se

Can your hear wheels, springs, and hooves?

Or they may fade in memory with the passing of each year: 

Former public road a mile or two from Laurel Branch Rd. NW. Bridge destroyed by flood after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Metal bent by the current used for pedetrian bridge.

Former public road a mile or two from Laurel Branch Rd. NW. The bridge over the West Fork of the Little River was destroyed by flooding after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Metal bent by the torrent was re-purposed as a pedestrian bridge.

 

Right-bank anchor of former bridge over Dodd Creek at Epperly Mill Rd.

Right-bank anchor of former bridge over Dodd Creek at Epperly Mill Rd. (See “Footsteps…Rambles.”)

 

The earlier roadway of Big Lick Rd. NE was bought from VDOT in 1985 by Ernest Bryant. The new course now skirts his property.

 

Former Scotts Mill Road, predecessor to Rt. 8, winding from Floyd toward Christiansburg. Photo taken from near the county recreation area beyond the left-field corner of the baseball fence. November 2016.

Former Scotts Mill Rd. This predecessor of Rt. 8 winds from Floyd toward Christiansburg from a point near the county recreation area. November 2016.

 

This is an oxbow off Christiansburg Pike NE, opposite one end of Thunderstruck Rd. To keep old-timers from accidentally driving it, a fallen tree blocks the path.

Oxbow off Christiansburg Pike NE, opposite one end of Thunderstruck Rd. To keep old-timers from accidentally driving it, a fallen tree blocks the ruts.

 

Rt. 221 used to pass the front of the Pine Tavern Lodge until the front became the back.

Rt. 221 N. used to pass the front of the Pine Tavern Lodge until the front of the complex became the back. Photo taken behind the long-ago-rotated Lodge.

 

Rt. 221 S. used to run along a hill next to what is now the present Rt. 221. Note the fire plug on the Coartneys' land.

Just outside the town of Floyd, old Rt. 221 S. recedes into the bushes. It used to run up and along this hill next to the present, deep-cut Rt. 221. Note the fireplug on the Coartneys’ land, a relic of the highway’s importance.

 

Disused gas station on Slusher Store Rd. NE.

Disused gas station on Slusher Store Rd. NE. The former road passes in front of it to dead-end at the present Rt. 8 (background). 

 

The old Penn Rd. used to run along Dodd Creek.

Former Penn Rd. NW used to run along the west side of Dodd Creek rather than the east (near where this photo was taken). Information courtesy of Alva Conner Coleman, 2013.

 

This road, on the property of Meredith Simmons Tompkins and James L. Tompkins, once ran between Old Furnace Rd. SW and Cox Store Rd. SW.

 

Former course of Duncans Chapel Rd. NW via the present Mystic Ln. NW. Photo by Robin Hairfield.

Former course of Duncans Chapel Rd. NW via the present Mystic Ln. NW. Photo by Leah Hairfield. Please see map below.

Mystic Lane map

Mystic Lane (650) can be found left of center on this Floyd County Highway Map, 2001. Although it now sticks out eastward, twig-like, from Duncans Chapel Rd., it used to arc back down to join the same road. At that former junction, note the stream that once powered the “Ed” Strong mill (next chapter).