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December 6, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buck and Game Road

 “Melrose,” 12016 Old Buckingham Road

Traube’s Tavern, 11940 Old Buckingham Road

Courtesy Huguenot Houses in Powhatan and Chesterfield Counties.

In 1912, an odd editorial ran in Richmond’s The Times-Dispatch entitled “An Episode of ‘The Buck and Game Road’.” Sent to the editor by Charles Macon Wesson of Fine Creek Mills, Powhatan County, it read, in part, as follows:

Sir. —The Buck and Game Road is incorrectly but almost universally called the Buckingham, for it does not even run to or extend into the county of that name, now made famous by its fine slate quarries. The aforesaid road is simply a broad, old-fashioned country highway, starting in Chesterfield, going through Powhatan and Cumberland, up to Prince Edward, I think, not extending beyond the thrifty town of Farmville.

The cognomen of Buck and Game Road was arrived at on account of the great perfusion of game, inclusive of deer, squirrels, old hares and “possums,” wild geese, duck and partridge. Said denizens held high carnival in “ye olden” stage days, when the cumbersome things rolled along in high state of the old Buck and Game Road, before the rampant locomotives, with their rumble and hysterical shrieks, drove the timid deer from there quiet, leafy coverts on the arrowy Appomattox or more classic James, when far-famed and justly celebrated Virginia hospitality was “in flower”: when mother, wife and maid were the real goddesses of the homes and firesides, yea, when butter was not oleo-margarine and the various as well as multitudinous adulterations of today were not known, if so, not practiced.

The author of the editorial then goes on a lengthy rant about Virginia’s halcyon days, when its citizens were God-fearing and the God-loving people and politicians less divisive. The author longed for the day when the maiden was “shy and coy” and her gallant cavalier was “brave, tender and true.” The episode, referred to in the title, concerns a certain church and its preacher, located somewhere on the “Buck and Game Road.”

Did the so-called “Buckingham Road” never really run into Buckingham County? What were the stage roads or old-fashioned country highways in the county called?

If a Slate River Rambling’s reader knows more, please, comment.

Old Buckingham Road Today


Leave a Comment
  1. Randy Crouse / Dec 8 2018 9:35 am

    Here is an example of the type article mentioned in my previous post. The link will take you to the page of interest and my transcription is below.

    The Examiner, Feb. 19, 1802, p. 3, col 1.

    A V A L U A B L E
    T R A C T OF L A N D,
    IN Buckingham County, on the main road called the Buckingham road, containing four hundred ten acres, and on the waters of Willis’ river, about four miles above Dobson’s Mill, ten miles from Caira, twenty miles from New Canton, and four miles from Planter’s Town on Appomattox. This land is well adapted for the culture of Corn, Wheat and Tobacco ; on which there is about seventy-five or an hundred acres of low grounds, that will answer extremely well for meadows, &c. ; about one hundred fifty acres cleared. To any person inclinable to purchase, the terms will be made known by the subscriber living on the premises.
    Daniel Jones
    February 8th, 1802.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 8 2018 10:11 am

      Many thanks, Randy.

      The Buckingham Road is turning into a fascinating discussion. Searchable, historic newspapers are changing history!


  2. Randy Crouse / Dec 7 2018 12:11 pm

    Joanne, I suggest you consult Agnes Gish’s book, this should probably settle the question.
    Agnes Evans Gish, Virginia Taverns, Ordinaries and Coffee Houses: 18th – Early 19th Century Entertainment Along the Buckingham Road, HERITAGE BOOKS Incorporated, 2012.

    Dr. Agnes E. Gish spent more than twenty years traveling the Old Buckingham Road seeking the original sites of the taverns and ordinaries that once dotted its roadside every four to twelve miles and studying the lives of those who dispensed hospitality-for-a-profit to its travelers. These public and private houses of entertainment are presented here in brief vignettes that contain both historical and genealogical information. The information has been gathered from public documents such as land patents, court order books, deeds, wills, personal property and land tax books, pension petitions, census enumerations, marriage bonds and minister’s returns, records of the Board of Public Works, and the Mutual Assurance Society’s fire insurance policies. The many newspaper notices of this period add a personal touch to the facts found in these public documents.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 7 2018 1:10 pm


      I agree, Dr. Agnes Gish’s book is a wonderful resource. I will revisit it!


  3. Randy Crouse / Dec 7 2018 12:05 pm

    I’ll offer my humble perspective, which may be wrong.
    I have been working on a new book, which is almost complete, that is a transcription of every news article regarding Buckingham county from 1736 to 1850. I have read thousands upon thousands of articles in dozens of newspapers, especially the Va. Gazette and numerous Richmond papers. The Buckingham road is mentioned from very early on, including as part of a stage line that runs through Buckingham county, makes stops in Buckingham county (New Store and or New Canton I believe) and mentions Taverns and Inns in Buckingham county situated upon this road. Stage lines used the road going from Richmond to Lynchburg via Buckingham. This article from 1912 is interesting and warrants further research, but from my understanding, based upon the newspaper mentions in land descriptions as part of real estate sale ads, and in advertisements of taverns, inns and stage lines… this gentleman’s statements do not make sense to me. Perhaps there was a Buck and Game road but I do not believe it is synonymous, contiguous or coincident with the Old Buckingham road.
    Perhaps we have here another source for the name of Buckingham! Willis’ river was once called Buck river. Perhaps the source of confusion is that Buck and Game road did really exist but it was misheard and conflagrated with Buckingham Road. If you say it, it sounds like you could be saying either.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 7 2018 1:14 pm


      Thanks not only for taking the time to comment but also for your informed thoughts about the oldest Buckingham roads.

      Very much looking forward to your forthcoming book. Be sure to contact me about how to buy a copy!


    • Eric Grundset / Dec 10 2018 8:31 pm

      Be sure we all know how to order this when it is out please!

      • Deb Kaiser / Feb 20 2019 11:49 am

        Yes, I would like to know how to order this when it is published also. Thank you.


  1. The Buckingham Road Revisited, Part III | slate river ramblings . . . .
  2. The Buckingham Road Revisited, Part I | slate river ramblings . . . .

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