Pulaski County

About Pulaski County

Pulaski County received its name from Count Casimir Pulaski, a refugee from Poland who died helping to fight for American independence at siege of Savannah in Georgia. Pioneers and settlers crossed the New River into Pulaski County at Ingles Ferry. William Ingles was the husband of Mary Draper Ingles who survived the 1755 massacre in Draper’s Meadow. To the west in Pulaski County, the route to Newbern is presently named the Wilderness Road. One may visit the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in historic Newbern.

Things to do while in Pulaksi

Claytor Lake.  If the bottom of clear, cold, deep, 21-mile-long Claytor Lake was visible, visitors would get a glimpse of one link on the chain of history connecting early settlement along the frontier area known as southwest Virginia. The 4,475-acre impoundment of the New River lies south of Radford and east of Pulaski in Pulaski County, an easy jump from Interstate 81.

The nearby interstate and US 11 follow closely the old Wilderness Road, a footpath and wagon trail for settlers traveling south down the Shenandoah and Roanoke valleys from Pennsylvania. Thousands of years before European pioneers started streaming down the valley in the mid-1700s, the road was a well-traveled hunting and raiding route used by southern Cherokee and Catawba tribes, as well as members of the northern Iroquois Confederacy of Five Nations. A mystic German sect called the Ephrata Brethren (later to be known as Dunkards) decided the land now covered by Claytor Lake was the place they wanted to stop. When the New River was dammed to form Claytor Lake for the generating of electric power in 1939, the community known as Dunkard’s Bottom was swallowed by the rising waters.

Information about Pulaski county is courtesy of the “Wilderness Road” website and Claytor-lake.net