Here the Gauley River, flowing from the north, joins the New River, flowing from southeast. From this point for the rest of its course, the waterway is named the Kanawha River. Members of the Kincaid family settled near here in 1812, choosing a hollow sycamore tree as their first home, as recounted in the introduction to this volume. They also established Kincaid's Ferry across the Gauley. When the first bridge was built in 1822 the settlement was named Gauley Bridge. Mr. Kincaid, former ferry owner, was tried and convicted of arson after the first bridge burned in 1826. He was thwarted again when another span was built in 1828. In 1835 Joseph Martin noted in his Gazetteer of Virginiathat Gauley Bridge contained “two saw mills, one manufacturing flour mill, two mercantile stores, and one hotel.” He added that this was “one of the wildest and most picturesque regions of the State,” an observation that still applies.
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