August 22, 2002

In the Shadow of

In the Shadow of the Buffalo

It shows up as a gentle wave on the horizon here. You can see it from just about any place in the county. Although it is not quite 4000 feet in elevation, it appears prominently above the uplifted land that is Floyd County, Virginia. It is known locally, simply as "The Buffalo".

Buffalo Mountain has quite a history. Less than a lifetime ago, it was a cultural holdout, a relict community of lawless Appalachian moonshiners who mistrusted everyone and lived a primative exisitence in self-imposed isolation. It is said that one man moved this mountain. He did it by acting on a call to minister to the spiritual needs of a hardscrabble community that did not readily accept his help. He eventually won them over, and they in turn helped him construct six fieldstone churches that dot the countryside today. Bob Childress is remembered fondly by the oldest generation of Floyd County residents as the man who brought churches, roads, bridges and schools to the Buffalo.

Today, the Virginia Natural Heritage program protects 1000 acres of the mountain. "Widely recognized as one of Virginia's greatest natural heritage treasures, Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve is like no other place in the state. A variety of unusual conditions combine to make the preserve home to 14 plant species, three invertebrate species and six natural communities that are rare in Virginia."

There is a road to the base of the mountain, and a short, steep trail to the top. It is about time for us to take a hike up to the top. Want to go? Always room for one more.

Posted by fred1st at August 22, 2002 04:40 PM

My mother's family grew up in the shadow of Buffalo. Their surname was Maxey. Anybody out there remember Mose & Dora? Nathanel or Barnabas? I haven't been there since 1944 but I still enjoy this site.

Posted by: Dick Mitchell at January 20, 2003 09:45 AM

shadow of buffalo

Posted by: zoe at March 12, 2003 01:06 PM

My brother and I tried today to find a road to
Buffalo Mountain. Though we grew up in Carroll
County (my brother still lives there) we could
see the Buffalo from our home.

Could give us directions to the road that takes
you to the hiking trail up the mountain?
Linda Mitchell

Posted by: Linda at September 21, 2003 12:32 AM

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