Lewis and Clark traversed Botetourt County over 200 years ago on the way to and from their Discovery Expedition’s trek across the Lousiana Purchase Territory for President Thomas Jefferson.
In 1978, The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail was established in the territory now located in a number of western US states. Soon, a proposed Eastern Legacy Trail will be proposed in Congress.
On Tuesday Jan. 22, Peggy Crosson who spear heads the campaign for Botetourt County’s inclusion came before the board to highlight the Eastern Legacy Trail. Along with Albemarle, Augusta and Rockbridge, Botetourt is one of the targeted counties in this area of the state along the Eastern Leagacy Trail. The resolution highlights four primary sites in Botetourt County as reasonable points of historic connection and value on the proposed trail.
They are: Amsterdam Community/Greenfield Plantation: The home of William Preston who was a close friend of Lewis and Clark and visited by both after the expedition. Botetourt County Courthouse./Town of Fincastle:u Couthouse square was the site of a post expedition celebration on Jan. 8, 1807 that honored Lewis and Clark and featured a speech by Sheriff Patrick Lockhart and a reply by William Clark. Town of Fincastle, Hancock Plantation: Santillane was the home of George Hancock, father of Julia Hancock whom William Clark married on Jan. 5, 1808. The marriage license is located in the courthouse archives as well as a letter of consent from Hancock. Town of Fincastle: Feb. 1810, Nicholas Biddle a prominent American statesman, poet , and banker came to Fincastle to help Clark with his journals from the expedition.
The proclamation will pass on to the National Park Service and others as a show of support. In November, NOAA placed an historic marker in the yard of the courthouse. Our previous story.