1849 map, left, shows Surry and Stokes counties before division. 1852 map shows Surry, Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth after division. Click all images for full size.
In 1907, C.M. Miller, a civil engineer in Salisbury, created a map of Forsyth County, probably for the tax office, showing most of the buildings outside incorporated areas in the county. In 1927, he redid the map to reflect the newly annexed portion of the county. Square dots represent owner occupied dwellings or stores. Plus signs indicate renters. A square with a plus on top is a church. A square with a pennant on top is a school. Triangles indicate mills. The tinted area above West Bend Rd (Shallowford) shows the 1911 annexation which was rescinded by the General Assmebly. The dotted line extending southward from the corner of Vienna Township indicates the original Yadkin-Forsyth County border, in effect for 76 years.
In 1849, Stokes County was divided along an east-west line just to the south of Germanton, with the southern half becoming Forsyth County. Since the area that we know as West Bend or Panther Creek was in Surry County, that area did not become a part of Forsyth. The next year, the General Assembly divided Surry County in a similar fashion, creating Yadkin County. The West Bend / Panther Creek area became a part of the new county and was known as Little Yadkin Township.
The Shallow Ford had served for centuries as the Yadkin River crossing in that area. At some point in the latter 19th century, Nading’s Ferry, just to the north, became the main way of crossing the river. By the 20th century, a bridge was sorely needed in the area, but Yadkin County did not have the resources to build one.
So in 1911, the General Assembly passed a bill ordering the annexation by Forsyth County of a small portion of Little Yadkin Township (see map). The sole purpose of this bill was that Forsyth and Yadkin Counties could combine their resources to build a bridge at or near Nading’s Ferry. There was considerable opposition to the bill in the area, and it was soon rescinded.
At the time, Yadkin County did not even have a highway commission. In 1917, they asked the General Assembly for permission to create one and issue bonds to build a bridge near Nading’s Ferry. That was done. Construction began in 1920 and in 1921, the Dixon Hill Bridge, a classic through truss type, opened to traffic, connecting Little Yadkin with downtown Huntsville.
But Yadkin County struggled to pay off the bonds. In 1926, the commissioners of Forsyth and Yadkin Counties cut a deal, which was ratified by the General Assembly. Forsyth County would annex the entirety of Little Yadkin Township. In return, they would give Yadkin County $70,000 to apply against bond indebtedness for the bridge and other road improvements made in Little Yadkin.
Most sources say that Forsyth purchased the land from Yadkin. That is incorrect. The General Assembly specified that the money was to used only to retire current and future bond indebtedness. It also specified that cost of maintaing the existing bridge would be shared in the future by both counties, the shares being determined by the ratio of taxes collected by the two counties. The annexed land became a part of Lewisville Township.
The article explaining the 1927 annexation, published March 6, 1927 in the Winston-Salem Journal is below. It contains the full text of the annexation bill:
The full maps that the above were taken from and many, many more covering every aspect of North Carolina history can be found online at http://www2.lib.unc.edu/dc/ncmaps/
If you love maps as much as I do, you may never visit another site on the internet…