Rachel Jackson Marker Moved to Chatham Bypass

By Henry H. Mitchell, 1989.

Virginia Highway Marker

Marker Reinstalled

Markham historical marker is positioned beside the U. S. 29 bypass east of Chatham by Virginia Department of Transportation employees Paul Drinkard and Emmett Morgan, Jr.

Previous editions of this column (April 5 and August 23) featured the birthplace of Rachel Donelson (wife of President Andrew Jackson) at Markham, about 12 miles east of Chatham along Virginia Route 686.

The house burned around 1930, but the site is commemorated by a chimney erected by the D. A. R. on the site and by a Virginia Historical marker which has stood since 1940 along Route 29 at the north end of Chatham.

Upon completion of the U. S. 29 bypass at Chatham during the 1960's, the position of the marker had seemed less logical since it was no longer near the normal access route to the site.

In response to a request from the Pittsylvania Historical Society, the Historic Resources Board of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in Richmond recently authorized moving the sign to a position beside the northbound lane of U. S. 29 bypass, just south of the Route 685 (Chalk Level Road) exit.

The sign was installed in its new location by Paul Drinkard and Emmett Morgan, Jr., of the Environmental Section of the Lynchburg District office of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Note: This article is adapted from one written as part of the “Pittsylvania Vignettes” series by Henry H. Mitchell, and printed in the Star-Tribune, Chatham, VA, on Wednesday, November 22, 1989.

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