The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mayberry Memories - T.D. Scott and the Panther Spring Fishing Hole

By Coy Lee Yeatts © 1985

Issue: June, 1985

Editor’s Note: Mayberry, Virginia is located 2.8 miles south of Meadows of Dan, Virginia and 4.3 miles south of Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not much is left of the once thriving community but the memories will live forever.

He was born to Mathew Scott and wife in County Cork, Ireland, 1775. He came to America in one of those little ships similar to the three that are tied to the dock at Jamestown Island, Virginia. His parents are buried at the Head of the River Church in Floyd County, Virginia, beside of State Highway 221.

T.D. Scott spent his early years getting acquainted with a new country and what one must do to survive. The trail from Ireland to Mayberry was a long one to say the least, but he lived to see his great grandsons have a store at Mayberry and more.

T.D. Scott married Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shelor's daughter Sallie and they moved down in the Little Bent section of Patrick County, to a place where Tony Wise had lived before he passed on. Thomas (T.D.) and Sallie had nine children: Thomas Delaplane married Lucinda Sandfier; Wolford Scott married Eliza Gilham; Daniel married Mary Ann Spangler; Eliza married Tira Barnard; Jehu married McGrady; Lucrita married Richard Spangler; Helen married Bartlett Smith; Peggy married John Mundy; and Mary (Daniel's twin) married Joseph Banks.

One of the things T.D. Scott did around here was to cause the name of a good fishing hole in the Dan River to be called the Panther Spring Hole.

Here's the story. It went something like this:

Seems like back in the 1800's, even if you just went fishing you carried your rifle along. It just wasn't safe without one. Along in March of 1847 (as near as Dad and I could figure out), T.D. Scott went down the river for a mess of trout, natives they were back then. We didn't have any fish hatchery until this century.

T.D. carried along his 28 cal. mountain rifle that he called, "the yellow jacket." While fishing, he felt his hair raise and stand on end, and for a while, he couldn't decide what was amiss. Then, he saw two eyes across the river looking at him from a pile of leaves that wasn't there a little while ago. So, he raised his rifle, took good aim, and fired. Into the river rolled a dead Black Panther! Well, that ended one day of hunting and fishing for Mr. Scott.

Later that year, he moved to Mayberry near where the Wallace Spangler home used to be. There he spent a good many more years until one frosty morning in his 99th year, he went outside to wash his hands and face and slipped and fell, hitting his head on a board. He died a few hours later from the concussion, lacking only a little bit less than a month of being one hundred years old.