18th century map including the headwaters of the Big Cole River
This representation of 50,096 acres surveyed for Edward Dillon was entered in Montgomery County Deed Book E, page 158, in the spring of 1795. It includes the headwaters of the "Big Cole" River, as well as the headwaters of Buffalo Creek. At the head of the West Fork of the Little Cole River is "Farley's Rooting Camp," presumably a site where men camped while hunting, trapping, and digging for ginseng. Specifically excluded from the 50,096 acres are 2,500 acres within, which were previously claimed. Appalachian historians term the speculative frenzy of land acquisition during this period "the engrossment." Between the years 1790 and 1810, residents of West Virginia established claim to 324,388 acres, nearly seven percent, while absentee owners claimed 4,525,153, more than ninety-three percent (Dunaway, 1996:57). Dillon's property is adjacent to 272,000 acres deeded at that time to Dewitt Clinton, a lawmaker from New York.
Montgomery County Deedbook E, Montgomery County, Virginia.