Louisa County Road Orders, 1742-1748

Report No: 75-R43

Published in 1975

About the report:

The establishment and maintenance of public roads was an important function of the County Court during the colonial period in Virginia. Each road was opened and maintained by an Overseer or Surveyor of the Roads charged with this responsibility and appointed by the Gentlemen Justices. He was usually assigned all the "Labouring Male Titheables" living on or near the road for this purpose. Major projects, such as bridges over rivers, demanding considerable expenditures were executed by Commissioners appointed by the Court to select the site and contract with workmen for the construction. Where bridges connected two counties, a commissioner was appointed by each, and they cooperated in executing the work.

The Road Orders contained in the first Louisa County Court Order Book covering the period 1742-1748 are the only extant evidence concerning the early roads of the County since there are no surviving Order Books for the period 1748-1766 and the early Hanover records have been destroyed. Approximately the upper third of the present Albemarle County was in Louisa until 1761. Before this the Louisa line extended from about where the Fluvanna-Louisa line intersects the eastern boundary of Albemarle in the northwesterly direction, across the point where Ivy Creek enters the Rivanna River, to the crest of the Blue Ridge just south of Brown's Cove. Before 1742 this area had been the westernmost part of Hanover County. In the following Road Orders those relating to the present configuration of Albemarle County are marked with an asterisk. Insofar as possible, all the Orders were extracted verbatim and the capitalization, spelling and punctuation have been reproduced without any attempt at correction or consistency.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Nathaniel Mason Pawlett

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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