From Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society



Dedicatory Address Virginia-West Virginia

Boundary Marker

Sweet Springs W.Va. August 23, 1964





Monroe County was created January 14, 1799.  By act of the Virginia Assembly on January 5, 1822, Allegheny County was formed.


The last act states that the line between the two shall run from the top of Peters Mountain in a straight line to the Greenbrier County line on the top of the Allegheny Mountain, so as to pass between the Sweet and Red Springs.


Nothing more was done about locating the line on the ground until June, 1856.  At that time the Monroe County Court employed James Vawter to make a metes and bounds survey of Monroe County.  This was started September 22, 1956 and was completed and filed wit the court on December 25, 1856 and was completed and filed with the court on December 25, 1856.  This survey was never legally adopted and had no legal meaning.  However, the survey appears to be very accurate with the exception of the line between Allegheny and Monroe. The straight line between the top of Peters Mountain and Allegheny Mountain is about 6 ¼ miles long.  The line, according to the Vawter Survey is not straight and is about 13 miles long.  There is no real explanation for the difference.  The survey was made in the winter and was made over a rough and mountainous area.  It may be that in order to avoid almost impossible country, he went around to the west intending to compensate later and forgot to do so.  It may be that he went to the wrong knob.  There are two in that area, about the same elevation and both could be called Fletcher’s Knob.  In any event, his line appears to be located about 1 ½ miles west of where it should have been located.


The accurate location of the line appears to have been some concern between West Virginia and Virginia since boundary Commissions were appointed in 1872 and again in 1887.  Neither of the Commissions made any report.  They apparently could not agree.


It appears that over the last 100 years, the U.S. Geological survey has made at least four maps of this line—all different and varying from one to three miles at the terminus of the  line at the Greenbrier corner.  None are straight lines and all appear to be west of where the line should have been located.  Because of these maps, differences arose between landowners in Monroe County and the U.S. Forest Service.  At least one suit was brought.


As a result of this uncertainty, at the instigation of the late Edgar B. Sims, a commission to determine the line was in 1957 appointed by the then Governors, Honorable Cecil H. Underwood, of West Virginia, and Honorable J. Lindsey Almond, of Virginia.  The commissions met many times and as a result, the line has now been located by the commissions, approved by the Legislatures of both states and the Congress of the United States.  The markers have been placed, and I believe that hey truly represent what can be accomplished when men negotiate in good faith.