Martinsville, Virginia


Sunday Afternoon Lecture, History of Rock Castle Creek with Beverly Woody presented by the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society

By: John Phillips, President, Board of Directors Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society

June 10, 2024


The Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society will host its monthly Sunday Afternoon Lecture, “History of Rock Castle Creek” with Beverly Woody, on Sunday, June 16, 2024, 3:00 P.M., at the Historic Henry County Courthouse.

Woody will discuss the families of Rock Castle Gorge displaced when the Blue Ridge Parkway was built. Rock Castle Gorge runs from Woolwine to Meadows of Dan and is between Belcher Mountain and Rocky Knob. The headwaters for both the Dan and Smith Rivers both start on Belcher Mountain. The Belchers, Woody’s descendants, were pro-Union and refused to fight in the 51st Virginia Infantry Regiment until they were drafted to do so. To avoid being drafted, they hid in caves and were unable to be found initially. Family names conscripted from Rock Castle Gorge to Captain Rufus Woolwine’s Company include Woolwine, Lovell, Lee, Dillard, DeHart, Boyd, Belcher, Wood, and many more.

Woody serves as regent of the Patrick Henry Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and on the Board of Directors of both the Patrick County Historical Society & Museum and the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society. She was named “Teacher of the Year 2023” by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). She stated in a previous article, “I like to talk a lot about Rock Castle and mountain people because there’s been so many ugly stereotypes about mountain people that aren’t true. These people were just as educated and just as talented as anybody, any flatlander.”

Admission to the lecture is free, made possible by corporate sponsors, Carter Bank & Trust and The Lester Group. The Historic Henry County Courthouse is fully handicapped accessible. The Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center & Museum will be open following the presentation.