Elk Garden

The Loop

© All Rights Reserved
Lawrence J. Fleenor, Jr.
Big Stone Gap, VA  24219
January 25, 2013


Earliest Settlement
The Mansions of Elk Garden
The Great Awakening
The Stuart Family
Lead, Salt, & Cattle
Wealth Leads to Politics

            “The Loop” is an imposing topographic feature to the southeast of Elk Garden.  It is situated between Clinch Mountain to its south, and the isolated conical mountain to its north, Beartown.  A narrow valley bisects imposing bluffs on Clinch and Beartown Mountains, and some classically educated pioneer thought that it looked like the entrance way into a medieval castle.  Often times these entrances were constructed as traps to confine attacking soldiers.  These features were officially called ‘gate houses’, but were often nicknamed “wolf traps”.  By using either the Latin name for wolf, “lupus”, or the French term “loup” or “loupe”, these structures became known simply as a “ Loop”.  A mountain in southern France, Sur de Loup, bears a striking resemblance to the Loop.

Beartown Mt. (Big Rye Grass Mt.) in the Left Background – The Loop (Little Rye Grass Mt.) in the Center Background – Clinch Mt. in the Right Background – War Gap In the Right Center Behind the Hill – “Downtown Elk Garden” to the Rear of the Camera


... Continued, Page 39


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© Elk Garden 2013 Lawrence J. Fleenor, Jr., Big Stone Gap Publishing®
Text may not be copied or reproduced in any form without written permission of the author(s).