By 1770 Capt. William Herbert had established a ferry across the nearby New River that became known as Jackson's Ferry. Thomas Jackson erected the 75-foot shot tower in the early 1800s to manufacture shot for firearms. The Austinville mines supplied lead for this business. Molten lead was dripped though a sieve from the top of the tower, then fell through the structure and an additional 75-foot shaft beneath the building into a kettle of water. While falling, the lead cooled and developed into shot pellets; the water cushioned the fall. The shaft was connected to the riverbank by a tunnel though which the shot was carried and then loaded onto boats.
Geographic Location: Wythe County
Physical Description of Location: Fort Chiswell Road (Virginia 52), after crossing New River, just prior to going under I-77 overpass, Max Meadows, VA 24360. Marker is on left when traveling north on Virginia 52.
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