Written by Alan May
Recordings by Ronnie Anderson
We received an email from Ronda Caudill in Oct asking if we would be interested in a possible investigation at a home that she owned in Glade Springs, Virginia. She told us that it was known as the Nickerson Snead House and that it had quite an interesting history. In her email Ronda told us that the home was haunted by Dr. Nickerson Snead’s wife Betsy and several other family members.
Home and Area Background
Ronda was kind enough to provide some background information concerning the house both through later emails and during the interview. Other historical information was found by searching different web sites that were concerned with either the house itself or the general area of Glade Springs. Civil War historian Danny Bryant also helped us to understand the mindset of people in that time and their actions. The following background history is compiled of all of these sources.
The Early Years
When the European settlers arrived Old Glades Springs was known to the local Indians or Native Americans as Passawatami. This name translates to mean This is the Place. The local Native Americans were known to hold some sort of fall games events in the large cleared area that was to become Glade Springs. The home and land connected with it were also on the main path of what is known as the Great Warrior Path. Native Americans used the path to trade and make war.
Picture Courtesy of Ancestry.com
The home began as a two room cabin in the 1770’s, possibly in 1770. The area was then part of Fincastle County before becoming Washington County. While I couldn’t find any documentation for any troop occupation or skirmishes during the Revolutionary War, the land likely saw at least troop movement as it was very close to the Stage Road. I did however find that 400 troops from Washington County under the command of Col. Campbell were sent to fight at the battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina adding to thoughts of possible troop movements through the Stage Road now known as Route 11.
Map Courtesy of RamblingRoots.com
Nickerson Snead purchased135 acres for a mere $10 an acre in 1833 and then another 35 adjoining acres for $900 in 1837. A brick home was built around the two room cabin in 1835 close to where these two plots come together. This in turn was added onto from time to time in the years that followed. During the Civil War and the ownership of Dr. Nickerson Snead both Northern and Southern troops passed through Glades Springs.
About 8 miles from the home lies the town of Saltville. Union and Confederate forces met for the first Battle of Saltville and a couple of months later for the Second Battle of Saltville. The 5th US Colored Calvary under General Burbridge was sent to help to capture and destroy the Salt Works. When the 5th joined up with the white army under Burbridge they were treat badly by their Union brother in arms. They had to endure many insults and physical acts such as having their horses stolen.