Edward Snickers (born about 1735 – died 1790)
Edward Snickers purchased 624 acres of this tract in 1769. Snickers operated the Shenandoah Ferry at the Gap and kept a tavern on the river. First referred to in early legal documents as a “yeoman,” by 1772 Snickers was called a “gentleman.” At various times Snickers hauled goods and produce for sale, operated a tavern, was a builder and overseer of roads, ran a ferry, and was owner of a merchant mill, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, and a sawmill. He made his fortune, however, by buying and selling land. He married Elizabeth Taliaferro about 1755 and they had four children.
George Washington rode through the Gap, that mainstay of the Bluemont landscape, on trips to survey land in the Shenandoah Valley. Washington knew Edward Snickers. At least 7 diary entries mention Snickers and several business letters between them survive.
In 1777 Edward Snickers sold his 624 acres on the east side of the Blue Ridge to Richard Wistar of Philadelphia. In 1769 Richard’s son Dr. Caspar Wistar sold it to William Clayton, who established a farm on the eastern shoulder of the Blue Ridge just south of the Gap—the site of present-day Bluemont. It was his son Amos Clayton who built the handsome stone manor house, Clayton Hall, which today still graces the corner of Snickersville Turnpike and Clayton Hall Road.