Updated 9/3/2013

In Podcast #59 the Trekkers explore Virginia’s Valley & Ridge region where the early settlers in the 1700‘s had conflicts with the Indians who lived there. Discover where Mary Draper Ingles was kidnapped by Shawnee Indians in 1755 and find out how she escaped; learn how Big Bone Lick state park got its interesting name; see where the fearsome Cherokee Chief Benge captured some pioneers right near a present-day Long John Silvers restaurant; explore where the ancient mound-builders built a mound right here in Virginia; and see an old Blockhouse used to protect the pioneers traveling along the Daniel Boone Trail. Come on, let’s go trekking!

Two Virginia presidents have been interested in Big Bone Lick (from where Mary Draper Ingles escaped).  Thomas Jefferson heard about the fossils at Big Bone Lick and wrote in 1782 that he had “hopes of being able to procure for me some of the big bones...” In 1795 William Henry Harrison, another president born in Virginia at Berkeley Plantation, gathered 13 hogsheads (large wooden barrels) full of bones from Big Bone Lick, but the ship transporting them sunk in the Ohio

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SOL Correlation:


K.2 The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.


2.3 The student will identify and compare changes in community life over time in terms of buildings, jobs, transportation, and population.


VS.2b The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by locating and describing Virginia’s Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau.


VS.2d The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by locating three American Indian language groups (the Algonquian, the Siouan, and the Iroquoian) on a map of Virginia.


VS.4b The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by describing how the culture of colonial Virginia reflected the origins of European (English, Scots-Irish, German) immigrants, Africans, and American Indians.


VS.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by c) explaining the influence of geography on the migration of Virginians into western territories.


VS.10b The student will demonstrate knowledge of government, geography, and economics by describing the major products and industries of Virginia’s five geographic regions.

Valley & Ridge

Here you can see how mastodons and mammoths compare with modern elephants (Picture Credits)

River.  In 1807 Thomas Jefferson sent William Clark (of the famous Lewis & Clark expedition) to collect some of the bones at Big Bone Lick. Clark gathered over 300 bones and sent them to the White House.  This time the bones arrived safely and some can still be seen at the Monticello, Jefferson’s home. (Source)  Many of the bones in Big Bone Lick belong to mastodons and wooly mammoths.