"when the snow is dissolved, which falls down from the Mountains commonly about the beginning of June; and then their verdure is wonderful pleasant to the eye, especially of such as having travelled through the shade of the vast Forest, come out of a melancholy darkness of a sudden, into a clear and open skie. To heighten the beauty of these parts, the first Springs of most of those great Rivers which run into the Atlantick Ocean, or Cheseapeack Bay, do here break out, and in various branches interlace the flowry Meads,whose luxurious herbage invites numerous herds of Red Deer to feed. " (1)
A life beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains eluded the earliest settlers of Virginia, only a few brave souls scaled the heights to feast upon such beauty. Most came back to reclaim their lives in the piedmont of Virginia. The frontier held the illusion of being a land unclaimed by man, a land of savages, a land of riches. However, mankind insist upon breaking boundaries and discovering the undiscovered.
In 1716, former Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood sought to push the boundaries of the frontier with an expedition to the Shenandoah Valley.
It was said that they made it all the way beyond the mountains that taunted so many settlers. When he returned, Spotswood advertised the splendor of what lay beyond those mountains with a simple charm: a golden horseshoe. Within ten years after Spotswood and his followers ventured across the Appalachian mountains, settlers moved past the mountains, into the valley. The prospect of land grants initiated by Spotswood encouraged further settlement in the Shenandoah Valley, which, by 1745, became populated with more than 10,000 inhabitants.