The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Growing Up On Tuggles Creek - The Lost Silver Mine

By YKW © 1984

Issue: September, 1984

The Lost Silver Mine

There used to be a story floating around about a silver mine on the Dan River somewhere around the Pinnacles of Dan. The story appears to have had its beginning with a tribe of Indians known as the Renfros. Seems they had lots of silver trinkets and jewelry they used in trading with the first settlers. They never revealed the exact source of their wealth, but there was a rumor around that the only entrance to their silver mine was under water at a deep hole in the Dan River adjacent to the Pinnacles.

No one ever found that mine (if indeed it existed); but I'll venture to say that many an hour of labor was lost searching for it.

The Small Divide

Following the old road from the Meadows of Dan Post Office to Mabry Mill, there is a spot just beyond the old Charlie West place on the crest of the hill where it is said one can hold a glass of water in each extended hand and pour them out simultaneously and the water from one glass will reach the little brook that helps to turn the big water wheel at Mabry Mill. From there the stream eventually flows into the New River, to the Kanawha River, the Ohio, the Mississippi and finally to the Gulf of Mexico.

The water from the other glass will find its way to a nearby spring that is the headwaters of Tuggles Creek which flows into the Dan River and eventually combines with the Smith and Mayo Rivers and joins the Roanoke River to flow into Albemarle Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

There are, of course, many other places including, perhaps, the crest of the Blue Ridge Parkway and all along almost anywhere on the Floyd-Patrick County [Virginia] dividing line where the same thing could be done; certainly it is no big deal as compared to the Great Divide out west that separates the waters flowing to the Atlantic and Pacific, but to my young mind, growing up so close to this spot, it was a fascinating phenomenon of nature.