Bottom Creek

Bottom Creek: The Cultural Landscape of a Mountain Community was self-published in 1998 by Jim Crawford.

Bottom Creek is now a nature preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy. Located 20 miles south of Roanoke, Virginia, Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve is the most visited of The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia preserves. This book explores the connectedness of our environment and our culture and reminds us that when we are preserving nature, we are preserving culture. Mr. Crawford interviewed descendants of the first settlers to this remote mountain region (circa 1840) and their memories give today’s visitors to the preserve a deeper understanding of its cultural landscape. The soft cover book uses maps of the Preserve’s hiking trails as the framework for these family memories rich with history and meaning, and helps the visitor to see the decayed foundations, old cemeteries, and spring daffodils with a new understanding.

The Bottom Creek book is only available online. (Price: + $3.00 shipping and handling)

Jim Crawford has written two essays derived from the Bottom Creek book:

  • "The Forrest Returns" is in Uncommon Wealth, Essays on Virginia’s Wild Places, 1999, The Nature Conservancy, Falcon Publishing, Inc., Helena, Montana. “In this anthology, twenty of Virginia’s gifted writers—heirs to those early naturalists—explore some of Virginia’s finest remaining natural areas. Drawing on natural history and personal experience, using humor and hope, their words help us to make sense of what we find and what we feel when we venture into the wilds.” (From the Foreward to Uncommon Wealth)

  • "Bottom Creek: From Community to Conservancy," was published in The Smithfield Review, Volume III, 1999. Published by the Montgomery County Branch Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities in cooperation with the Department of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and in conjunction with Pocahantas Press, Inc. Blacksburg, Virginia.