The Route of the Three Notch'd Road: A Preliminary Report

Report No: 76-R32

Published in 1975

About the report:

Of the many colonial roads constructed during the eighteenth century as settlement moved across Piedmont and Southside Virginia, a few have remained virtually intact and in service as state roads over most of their length. One of the most significant of these is the Three Notch'd or Three Chopt Road, which ran from Richmond to the Valley as a main east-west route from the 1730's to the 1930's, when it was superseded by U.S. Route 250. Probably originally an Indian and game trail, various sections were gradually improved to the status of roads during the 1730's as the settlers moved into the upper Piedmont. Known first as the Mountain Road, or Mountain Ridge Road, it derived its name Three Notch'd Road from a system of marks it had received by 1742 or 1743. As early as 1737 it possessed milestones, or numbered trees, running from west to east along its route as an aid to travelers. Although the road appears on late eighteenth century maps, it can first be specifically located on the maps prepared by the Confederate Engineers, and these indicate it very nearly on its present course from Richmond to the Valley.

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, Howard Newlon

Last updated: January 29, 2024

Alert Icon

Please note that this file is not ADA compliant. Choose one of below options: