Appalachian Trail Histories

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John Barnard with a memorial he made to the local Native Americans who lived in the Dan River gorge. According to his grandson, Barnard cast the concrete in sand and then added artifacts he had found in the gorge over the years.

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From the reverse: The Little Falls of Dan, one mile north of Pinnacles of Dan. The fall here of Dan River is 90 or 100 ft. The River here flowing through the great crevice of rock and around huge boulders at a tremendous rapid rate which is interesting to observe and very beautiful. Frank Cox in picture.

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John R. Barnard (right) leading a hike in the Dan River Gorge, August, 1936. Barnard was the man responsible for laying out and maintaining the Appalachian Trail in Patrick County, Virginia from 1930-1952. He regularly led hikes along the Trail and throughout the Dan River Gorge throughout this period and continued to do so long after the Trail moved 50 miles west.

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In 1933, members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) traveled to Meadows of Dan, Virginia, to hike the Dan River Gorge, including the Pinnacles of Dan. They stayed at the home of John Barnard, who had laid out and maintained the Trail in Patrick County on behalf of the ATC. Barnard led hikes over the Pinnacles and was a regular host for PATC excursions in the area. Visitors such as this group typically camped on his land or stayed in his barn.

[Reverse of image] "Members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Barnard near Pinnacles of Dan, Patrick Co. Va., July 1,2,3, 1933. Myron Avery with wheel."

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