Now, I realize that Waterford doesn’t lie directly along Highway 17, but imagine how happy I was to run across cartographer Eugene Scheel. He had a wonderful, hand drawn map of The John Singleton Mosby Heritage Area – an area of ~1,800 square miles that is bordered by the Bull Run Mountains to the east, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, the Potomac River to the north and the Rappahannock River to the South. This heritage area, designated in 1995, covers portions of Loudoun, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke and Warren counties in Virginia, as well as Jefferson County in West Virginia.
And… can you guess what highway runs right across the Mosby Heritage Area? You guessed it – Highway 17. State Route 50 / Highway 17 crosses the Shenandoah and then traverses the Blue Ridge as the John Mosby Highway and the Winchester Road – and continues southward to Warrenton, Virginia. Highway 17 goes either through or near the towns of Paris and Delaplane and Oak Hill and Marshall… and an awful lot of Virginia history. If you travel Highway 17 through the Mosby Heritage Area, you can stop off at the Sky Meadows State Park, tour the historic Mount Bleak House, Yew Hill, and the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Cemetery – just to name a few points of interest along the way.
None other than the ‘Gray Ghost’ – a Confederate battalion commander in the American Civil War whose battalion, referred to as Mosby’s Rangers, were known for their ability to elude Union troops. The Mosby Heritage Area is where Mosby operated with great finesse and was often referred to as Mosby’s Confederacy. Highway 17 runs right down the middle of Mosby’s Confederacy.