Originally, the Three Notch'd Road was a colonial-era thoroughfare running east and west through central Virginia. It is believed to have taken its name from a distinctive marking of three notches burnt or axed into trees to blaze the trail. As legend has it, the road was made famous by Jack Jouett's midnight ride to Charlottesville, VA. in June of 1781. After General Benedict Arnold defected to the British, he sacked Richmond and caused a number of our founding fathers, including then Governor Thomas Jefferson, to seek refuge at Jefferson's home, Monticello, in Charlottesville, VA. Learning of this, General Cornwallis ordered Banastre Tarleton to ride to Charlottesville and capture the group. Captain Jack Jouett of the Virginia Military heard the sound of Tarleton's cavalry from his Louisa County home just 40 miles from Charlottesville. Upon witnessing the cavalry pause for an extended rest, he raced the moon-lit Three Notch'd Road to Monticello to warn the Governor and his state legislators to flee Charlottesville. Recognizing their debt to Jouett, the legislature passed a resolution on June 15, 1781 to honor him, and "Jack Jouett's Ride" became a legendary portion of Virginia's history.
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