Travel app includes local history

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The average driver traveling through Western Tidewater might spot the familiar roadside silver signs that mark a moment and place in the area’s history, but not necessarily be able to stop long enough to read the post. Which is a pity, really, when you consider how significant the county and city are to Virginia’s history, and also that of the nation.

Thankfully, there’s a way to read what was missed via contemporary technology. For example, the Dred Scott and The Blow Family highway marker in the county recently has been included in the Virginia History Trails smartphone app. Scott was the slave of the Blow family in the 1800s who contested that because he had been taken to non-slave territory with the family, he had the right to sue for his freedom. The Supreme Court at the time thought otherwise. That decision is considered one of the contributing factors that led to the American Civil War, aka, the War Between the States, and eventually the end of legalized slavery in this country.

The other marker on the app program shows where the Camp Family — brothers Paul, James and Robert — established the timber and paper manufacturing company that put Franklin on the map.

We’re pleased that Western Tidewater history has been acknowledged and included in this history project for the commonwealth, which is all part of the American Evolution that’s commemorating the 400th anniversary of notable historical events in Virginia history.

To learn more, the free Virginia History Trails app can be downloaded at:

We encourage you to visit and learn more about regional and state history at a safe speed by sitting or standing still and reading.