Davis Marker Rededicated At Jackson Park 30
Chillicothe – It has been more than 160 years since the passing of Walter Davis, but this Revolutionary War soldier left his mark on southern Ohio and Jackson County.
Davis, the only known Revolutionary War soldier to be buried in Jackson Township, served in the 6th and 10th Virginia Regiments after enlisting in the Colonial Army in 1776. Two hundred years later, Davis was honored with the dedication of the state roadside park on U.S. Route 35.
On Wednesday, July 30, Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart rededicated the rest area, now Jackson Park 30, in a ceremony joined by members of Davis’s family
“Our highways are more than just lines on a map,” said Brushart. “They are a system of roads and bridges that connect villages to cities, and they represent the relationship between people and place. Therefore, it is fitting that we use settings such as this rest area to honor individuals like Walter Davis who played a significant role in our country’s rich history.”
Although the park was first dedicated to Davis’s memory in 1976, a second, rededication ceremony was held in April 1990 when the present-day U.S. 35 rest area was opened. At a cost of $1.15 million, it was the first modern facility on U.S. 35 between Charleston, West Virginia, and Muncie, Indiana.
However, Davis’s memory was likely to fade for the thousands of motorists who use this busy rest area as both the original plaque and the plaque issued in 1990 were stolen from the park.
AIt is a shame that both plaques were stolen from this facility; however, I am honored that we could pay tribute to Mr. Davis’s memory and his part in the Revolutionary War once again by issuing another sign and a plaque in his honor,” said Brushart.
After fighting in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Paulus Hook and Valley Forge, Davis was taken prisoner at the surrender of Charleston, South Carolina, in May 1780. Following the war, Davis married Mary Tracy and later moved to Jackson County, where he lived until his death in 1844.
Today, Davis is buried in the Davis Family Cemetery adjacent to the park, and his descendents, from whom the land for the park was secured, continue to reside in Jackson County.
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