by W. Dale Carter, copyright 2001, Kingsport, TN
As a teenager, I hunted squirrels on Callaham spur in the many sinks area of Scott County, Virginia, which was a part of my Dad’s farm. The spur projected northward out of the high country to the south of where I was raised. I asked my Dad why the spur was called Callaham spur and he said it was named after a hunter. The story goes that Callaham was hunting in the high country and he captured a deer. He tied a rope around the neck of the deer and was leading it behind his horse down the spur. The path down the spur passed above a cliff and as Callaham approached the cliff, the deer jumped over the cliff pulling Callaham and the horse over the precipice. The deer and horse were killed but Callaham survived.
Edward Callaham was a hunter and a short biography of him and his wife Succy can be found in the David Campbell MMS.
“Although the country was settled with a well-informed population generally, yet there was a mixture of all sorts. The leading characters of one class were Edward Callaham and his wife Succy. Where they came from I do not know, but they were themselves originals. Edward was a hunter by profession, and when they immigrated to the Holston he selected for his residence the banks of the north fork twenty five miles below Abingdon, at a point where he could see the top of clinch mountain through a gap in the river knobs. Here he lived many years.
Succy was a cake woman, but with the cakes she sold something to drink. She made her appearance on the first day of every court, with a cart load of cakes, pies, and drinkables, halted in the of the street and made an awning for herself and commenced business. Edward followed on foot at the tail of the cart in the full dress of the hunter, with rifle and shot pouch, and his fine, well taught hunting dogs at his heels, and when he had gotten Succy fairly started at her business he moved off with his peltry to transact his own business. Succy was a shrewd woman and adopted all sorts of evasions to avoid paying license, and sometimes she was hard pressed by the grand jurors and Attorney-General Dunlop. On one occasion she was nearly at her wit’s end about retailing whiskey, when John Campbell, the clerk, said something to the court in mitigation, and the justices being very willing to accept ant excuse, let Succy off. She never forgot the kindness, and fifteen years afterward I, the son of John Campbell, was riding in that part of the country and was benighted at Succy’s cabin, when she treated me with a kindness and hospitality which I shall never forget and in a manner, too, that showed she knew how to act her part. I have named two originals of each sex.”
The cabin and home of the Callahams can be located precisely by plotting the land grant issued to Callaham which was recorded in the Land Office Book N, page 230 at Richmond and by locating the plot on a modern topographic map.
Callaham grant as recorded in VA Land Office Book N: 230 at Richmond, VA