The Great Wagon Road

March 12, 2009 · By Deb Phillips - The Photo Gal · Filed Under Landmarks 
The historic marker of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, located in Shallowford Square in Lewisville, North Carolina (Forsyth County). Deb Phillips, photographer.

This historic marker of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road is located at Shallowford Square in Lewisville, North Carolina. Originally passing just 120 feet north of the marker, the Great Wagon Road went from Philadelphia to Augusta, Georgia.

Crossing the Yadkin River

Last Saturday’s Shallow Ford Walk (on March 7, 2009) took a small group of explorers on a journey back to the days of Daniel Boone. When we stepped to the edge of the Yadkin River near the historic Shallow Ford, we stood not far from where horseback riders and horse-drawn wagons and stagecoaches had traversed as far back as 250 years ago. (The first bridge in the Shallow Ford area would not be built until 1920.)

For many individuals who lived in earlier times, crossing the Yadkin River and moving into the territories beyond represented an opportunity to follow their dreams. They were headed westward, toward promise and the hope for a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.

If you haven’t yet listened to the AUDIO RECORDING that accompanied the previous post (Exploring Shallow Ford), I invite you to do so. It’s a 38-minute recording of the panel discussion — led by Rod Meyer and Kyle Stimson — that illuminates some of what life was like for the early settlers in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, and particularly describes the importance of the Great Wagon Road to settlers and travelers alike.

For more resource information and photos, please continue to the NEXT SECTION.

Internet Resources

Photo Gallery

Besides the above photo of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road historic marker that’s located in Shallowford Square in Lewisville, I’ve included in the photo gallery some close-ups of the marker that make it possible to read the text and the maps that are on it. You’ll also find some photos of the Daniel Boone Trail markers that are located on both sides of the Yadkin River near the Shallow Ford. The photos are in the Great Wagon Road Markers photo gallery.

What Was it Like?

Can you imagine what life was like for those who lived hundreds of years before us? Can you picture the very different landscape of our town and the surrounding areas? Can you imagine the long-established Indians and the newly arriving European settlers? And what was it like for those passing through our town toward the western frontier? LEARN MORE by CLICKING on the links below:

Other articles on this website that may be of interest to you: Down by the River, Exploring Shallow Ford, The Nissen Wagon Museum, Yesterday’s Journeys.



2 Responses to “The Great Wagon Road”
  1. Debbie Mecca says:

    4th Gr Grandfather William Lee Davidson traveled down the Great Wagon Road at a very young age. William grew up north of Charlotte on Davidson Creek very near where Davidson College is located.

    William’s father, George, was one of the first settlers to the area and had an “ordinary” or tavern on his property–with this in mind, the property must have been right along the Wagon Road in order for travelers to “drop in.”

    William later became a Brig. Gen. in the Revolution and lost his life at the “Battle of Cowan’s Ford.”

    I wish I lived closer so I could get together with your group to explore remnants of this road. Thank you for such interesting posts.

  2. What an interesting and honorable connection you have to the Great Wagon Road, Debbie. Thank you so much for sharing this enriching info on your ancestors. I hope you’ll someday be able to explore the remnants of the Great Wagon Road.

    All the best,

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