Elk Garden
© 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 pioneer generation was not yet dead before Elk Garden had developed into a classic anti-bellum plantation society. The most prominent families were the Smiths, the Prices, and the Hendricks. Thomas Price, and his brother Richard, probably owned the greatest acreage, which involved both current Rosedale and much of the land west of State Highway 80.  

          The family of Col. Henry Smith owned Smithfield, north of the western intersection of State 80 and US 19.  Their greatest acreage was, however, to the north of House and Barn Mountain along the Clinch River, and technically not part of Elk Garden. 

          David and William Priest were either brothers or nephews of the Prices.  Both surnames were spelled ‘Preec’, or similar variations, in Pennsylvania, where they all came from.  The Priests settled between Richard and Thomas Price.  What is now Webb Mountain was once Priest’s Mountain.  The Price family wound up with the Priest’s land. 

          Thomas Hendricks, whose wife was Sarah Vanhook, sister to Samuel, and his sons and grandsons not only developed a significant plantation economy but also had a gristmill, general store, and post office. As the mid-19th century approached there were approximately 7000 white people in Russell County, and approximately 700 slaves. Even the large plantation owners owned no more than a dozen slaves. There was a large population of white tenant farmers, who mostly lived in Corn Valley toward the Loop, and which by inference performed much of the farming for those large landowners. 

         Obvious signs of significant wealth were soon to appear. Before the Civil War three elegant plantation houses were built in a five mile stretch from Rosedale to Hendricks.  


            Richard (1750 or 1764-1803) and Thomas, Jr. (1761-1804) Price were brothers born in Culpeper, Virginia, but of Pennsylvania origins.  Another genealogy has them being born in Philadelphia.  Both moved in to the Elk Garden community around the time of the American Revolution. At some point in time Richard got the settlement right at the current intersection of state 80 going north from US 19 toward Honaker. It appears, however, that Alexander Scott had already acquired a grant for this tract of land (LO O-547), both claimants surveying in 1783. In 1783 Richard Price surveyed out a preemption warrant for LO 0–561. What this means is that the Commonwealth of Virginia gave him rights to this land to compensate him for the settlement right that he had to relinquish due to that prior claim.       ... Continued, Page 12        


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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).