In recognition of the upcoming 250th celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the DAR America 250! Committee of the Botetourt County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is placing a spotlight on members’ Patriot ancestors who helped the country achieve American Independence. Daniel Brugh is the Patriot ancestor of five DAR members: Annie Jeter Lee, Anne Lee Wagner, Judy Louise Lee, Stacey Rae Brugh, and Valerie Brugh Green.
Daniel Brugh was the fourth son of Hermanus and Catharine Bruch (now spelled Brugh). He was born in Reading Township, York County, Pa., July 19, 1762. He served in the American Revolutionary War as a member of 8th Company, 1st Battalion, York Militia in 1782 serving a tour of duty as a member of Captain O’Blain’s Company.
After his military service he married Elizabeth Deardorff, and they had 12 children. Hermanus and Catharine contracted all their land in Pennsylvania to Daniel and Elizabeth and in return Daniel would provide care for his parents during their lifetime. Daniel only held the York County land for about four years.
Daniel, being an entrepreneur and a very ambitious young man, struck a deal with Anthony Deardorff to trade 215 acres of his land in York County, Pa., for 550 acres of land “situated in Bauditot County in the State of Virginia.” Once the title to his land was settled, Daniel then packed up his own growing family and his parents and moved down the Great Wagon Road to Botetourt County. This would forever change the Brugh family history.
Daniel would be the first Brugh to own land in Virginia. He established the farm located at the intersection of Fincastle and Great Road on Mill Creek and built a sawmill. A few years later he built a grist mill. His farming operations got underway; he would ship clover seed by the hundred weight by bateau to Lynchburg. He raised tobacco, grain crops, and cured pork and beef that was butchered on his farm.
Seeing a need along the Great Wagon Road for travelers, Daniel was licensed to operate a tavern on December 12, 1809. The tavern was built in solid German fashion. The tavern occupied the lower level of the building while sleeping accommodations were maintained on the second floor. Daniel and his family lived on the third floor. Breakfast, 25 cents; a warm dinner, 33 cents; a cold dinner, 25 cents; supper, 25 cents. The meals might be what we now call Farm to Table style. They ground their own flour, and the meats were right off the farm. They also owned their own cider mill producing sweet and hard cider.
Daniel died on December 26, 1825 at the age of 63. Family tradition holds that he was “bled” to relieve a wound, with the “cure” and not the wound causing his death. He was buried in the Brugh-Simmons Cemetery in Botetourt County.
The Brugh Tavern that once sat off Exit 156 was disassembled, carefully labeled piece by piece, and painstakingly recreated in Virginia’s Explore Park in Roanoke County and dedicated April 28, 1998. It is now operated by Twin Creeks Brewing Company.
~ Botetourt Chapter of DAR