Monday, February 8, 2010

The Island Ford

Swepsonville was where the main route of the Trading Path crossed the Haw River, although there were numerous alternative fords such as Galbreath's just above Swepsonville and the Island Ford just below. Sometime soon I'll post more detail about the Galbreath Ford, but tonight I thought I'd write about the Island Ford.

Here are a couple of views of the Island Ford vicinity from old maps:

island ford 1770
Collett 1770

island ford 1808
Price-Strother 1808

Island Ford 1833
MacRae-Brazier 1833

As the Trading Path approached Swepsonville (formerly Armstrong's Mill, Murphey's Mill, Ruffin's Mill etc.) it followed almost exactly the route of NC-119 coming south from Hawfields Church. Old land records paint a detailed picture of the route and it matches the route of NC-119 very closely. As 119 crosses NC-54, there is a fork in the road. The left fork is Alfred Road and it was the road to the Island Ford.

I think the Island Ford was located just south of the islands at the Puryear Mill and that Tom Burke Lane is a remnant of the road leading down to the river. It would be interesting to get the landowners' permission and check out the route of that road in more detail.

island ford 2010