The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Crossing Bottom Creek

By Lois S. Poff © 1987

Issue: July, 1987

My husband grew up in Floyd County, near Thrash's Mountain, a section of Virginia where Floyd, Montgomery, and Roanoke Counties meet. The mountain was named for my mother's great–great–grandfather, John Thrash, a sixteen year old pioneer who walked up from Tennessee in 1797, married Lydia Cole, daughter of Joseph Cole, a Revolutionary War soldier, and settled on the mountain.

In 1928 my father–in–law, Archie Poff, went down on Bottom Creek in Roanoke County and bought a sawmill from Mr. Hode Funk. At the time he moved the sawmill, it was inconvenient to move the saw, so he just left it down there. In a few days he told my husband, Herman, who was twelve and Eldredge who was a few years older to take the wagon and go get the saw. It was a long ways from their home but Eldredge knew the way for he had been with his father when he moved the sawmill.

Back then, Bottom Creek, a tributary to South Fork of Roanoke River, was a right deep creek at normal times but for some unknown reason the water was up that day. After they had descended the rugged mountain terrain, they came to the creek. When the horses saw the high water they wouldn't go across. They knew better.

The boys sat there awhile trying to decide what was best to do and then decided to make the horses cross. Finally the horses started on across. The water came up in the wagon bed and up deep on the horses. It was hazardous crossing, but they made it, got the saw and went back home a different way.