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An article detailing Gideon Morgan's plans to establish the town of New Haven, featured in the September 1 1801 issue of Staunton's The Political Mirror newspaper. Reproduced from WikiTree.

Morgantown was one of several unrealized-plans for distinct towns that were to be established within Albemarle County during the early nineteenth century.


The proposed site of Morgantown was laid off into at least 250 lots and wood lots that were located on the main road to Staunton, about a mile west of the Ivy Depot. The town had been planned by Gideon Morgan, who sold the land by lottery at the rate of 50 dollars a ticket.

The special attraction during this time was Lot 176, on which were built a large brick house and stable. So powerful was its appeal that tickets were purchased not only by individuals in Albemarle but also from the surrounding counties of Frederick, Shenandoah, Rockingham, Fluvanna, Augusta, Rockbridge, Bath, and even places as distant as Henrico and Lancaster Counties and the city of Philadelphia. Among those who participated in the affair from Augusta were Chesley Kinney, Jacob Swoope, and Judge John Coalter, while those from Albemarle were Peter and John Carr, Isaac Miller, Elijah Garth, Richard Gambell, Andrew Kean, and Thomas Wells. The fortunate ticket-holder was George Anderson of Greenbrier, who ultimately sold the place to Benjamin Hardin (the son of Isaac Hardin and Morgan's brother-in-law).

In 1814, Micajah Woods and his wife conveyed to Hardin two lots which had been drawn by William Davenport. In 1821, Taylor and Newbold of Philadelphia conveyed another lot. Altogether, 109 individuals bought tickets, and Morgan derived nearly twice as much money from his few acres as the county derived from the thousand acres on which Charlottesville was built. Floored with this financial success, Morgan traveled to Rockingham County and attempted to project another town named New Haven not far from Port Republic; however, in this endeavor he was not so successful. He later moved to Roane County in Tennessee.

In 1821, George Anderson's widow, then living in Montgomery County, conveyed her interest in their property to Hardin, to whom Morgan himself also later sold his remaining land. Hardin maintained the tavern there up until 1827 or 1828, when he sold the place to cover his debts. Due to the other lots laying on either bare fields or forest running up on Turner's Mountain, the owners most probably quietly abandoned them and allowed them to lapse into Hardin's possession.

The brick house and accompanying stable later passed from the hands of Hardin to Francis McGee, who occupied them as a tavern. They later served as the residence of his daughter, Mrs. John J. Woods. As of 1901, the structures were still standing.[1]


  1. Web. Albemarle County in Virginia, C.J. Carrier Company, 1901