I believe I may has settled on a time frame. The period around 1800 seems promising. This would be after the revolution, yet still historic-enough to present this area as a rugged wilderness. Anything later would have to be the Civil War period, which does not appeal to me. The earlier colonial periods has been overused by others, so it is not an original subject. The only other period that would appeal to me would be possibly the 1880’s through the 1920’s. The period may, indeed work out as a second version of the map.
I am partial to the 1800 period because I can still use indian trails for the major roads, and the house and farms of the period, in general, can follow along with a late colonial period without too much difficulty. I have a few Virginia books from this period which can supply good references. The land is still rugged, as evidenced by this invitation for a trip in 1800:
Dear X., – We have fixed upon the 1st of June to start for the Canaan country. Our party will consist of Dindon, Jones, Smith, you old friend Penn, and myself. Can you join us? If so, give us immediate notice, and set about making your preparations without delay. I would recommend to you to procure the following equipment : a water-proof knapsack, fishing-tackle, and a gun; a belt with pistols – a revolver would be preferable, in case of a conflict with a panther; a hunting-knife for general purposes – a good ten-inch blade, sharp and reliable; it will be useful for cleaning fish, dressing game, and may serve you a turn when a bear gets you down in a laurel-brake. Store your knapsack with an extra pair of shoes, a change of raiment, such as will resist water and dirt to the last extremity, a pair of leggins to guard against rattlesnakes, and the following eatables: one dozen biscuits, one pound o fham, one pound of ground coffee, salt, pepper, and condiments. This will be the private store of each person; the public supplies will be carried out on horses. The place of rendezvous is St. Paul’ Church; the day the 31st of May.
Yours in haste, Porte Crayon