George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 12 April 1748]

Tuesday 12th. We set of from Capt. Hites in order to go over Wms. Gap about 20 Miles and after Riding about 20 Miles we had 20 to go for we had lost ourselves & got up as High as Ashbys Bent. We did get over Wms. Gap that Night and as low as Wm. Wests in Fairfax County 18 Miles from the Top of the Ridge. This day see a Rattled Snake the first we had seen in all our Journey.

Williams’ Gap was a pass through the Blue Ridge Mountains on a line east from Winchester. It was later known as Snickers’ Gap.

Ashby’s Bent, or Ashby’s Gap, is a pass into the Shenandoah Valley through the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was presumably named for Thomas Ashby, father of John and Thomas Ashby, who settled in the area in the 1740s.

West’s ordinary was at the junction of the Carolina Road and the Colchester Road near Bull Run, slightly east of the beginning of the Bull Run Mountains. It was operated by William West, who died between 1762 and 1765. As early as 1740 West had acquired grants of land in the area (Northern Neck Deeds and Grants, Book E, Vi Microfilm). He may have been the William West who was a brother of Hugh and John West of Alexandria, although the evidence is only conjectural (see HARRISON [1] description begins Fairfax Harrison. Landmarks of Old Prince William: A Study of Origins in Northern Virginia. Berryville, Va., 1964. description ends , 139, 494–95). The ordinary was operated after the Revolution under the name Lacey’s and was located at the present site of Aldie, in what is now Loudoun County.

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