The Town of
Glasgow, Virginia

History of Cottage Farm

The History of C.C. Baldwin and Cottage Farm

Cornelius Clark Baldwin, or C.C. Baldwin as he was most often referred to, arrived in Rockbridge County
in the early 1830s where he quickly established himself. He soon became editor of the Rockbridge
newspaper then called The Union.  After renaming it the Lexington Gazette (now the News Gazette), he
retained editorial control and ownership from June1834 through July 1840.  He was a young man only in
his mid twenties but by then had attended West Point for a brief period, before he went on to study law.  
He became enamored with Margaret Paxton, the 24-year old daughter of Hugh Paxton and Isabella
Paxton, and married her in November 1837.  Together they had three children and lived in the area of
Balcony Falls close to the mouth of the North River adjacent to Willow Grove -- part of the old Hugh
Paxton Homestead.  Margaret died after only ten years of marriage.  More than a decade later, C.C.
Baldwin remarried Susan Ann Sale on October 2, 1858 and fathered two more children.  The Baldwin
family lived at Cottage Farm until the early 1960s when it was eventually sold by C.C. Baldwin’s
granddaughter, Mary Baldwin-Denbo.  C.C. Baldwin died in 1894 at the age of 82 and was buried in the
Paxton family cemetery in Glasgow.  He outlived three of his children and his first wife.  C.C. Baldwin
enjoyed a long prosperous life; he was a family man, teetotaler, journalist, author, farmer, practiced law,
wheeled and dealed in real estate, invested in slaves, engaged in politics, was a staunch secessionist
and was by his own description “decidedly egotistical”.  Upon reaching a point in his life that he chose to
forsake public office, he wrote an eloquent letter to the editor of the Lexington Gazette in September
1865 declaring that he instead was in want of the “…quiet fireside, the unobtrusive companionship of
books, the humble employment of the farm, the prattle of children and the ever shifting scenes of that
gorgeous panorama of earth and sky, which Nature, with lavish hand, spreads out for the enjoyment of
her children.”

Born to Joseph Clark Baldwin and Eliza Cook Baldwin (who were distant cousins) in Winchester, Virginia,
November 1, 1811, C.C. Baldwin could point to a long heritage in America reaching back over 170
years.  His maternal grandfather and namesake, Dr. Cornelius Baldwin, was educated at Princeton,
studied medicine in Philadelphia, served as an Army surgeon in the Revolutionary War and settled in
Winchester.  His grandmother, Mary Briscoe, was the youngest daughter of Col. Gerard Briscoe of
“Cloverdale” near Winchester.  In 1808, C.C. Baldwin’s father established the first woolen and cotton
factory in the Valley of Virginia called “Friendly Grove Woolen Factory” located a mile south of
Winchester and operated it successfully for twenty years. His family on both sides could trace their roots
back to circa 1638 when the Baldwins first arrived from County Bucks, England and settled in the
coastal community of Milford, Connecticut.  Interestingly enough, both branches of C.C. Baldwin’s
immediate ancestors can trace their migration, over a handful of generations, from Milford, Connecticut
southward to Newark and Elizabethtown, New Jersey a century later, then onward to Winchester first,
and then Staunton, Virginia in 1828.  And finally C.C. Baldwin, a native Virginian, made Rockbridge
County his home, first in Lexington and then Balcony Falls.  He had three siblings: he was the oldest,
next his only sister Elizabeth Holms Baldwin (b.1813), then Joseph Glover Baldwin (b.1815) and Cyrus
Briscoe Baldwin (b.1818).

C.C. Baldwin was in his late teens when he was admitted as a cadet to West Point Military Academy on
July 1, 1830.  However, upon not completing a full year, he resigned January 31, 1831.  There is little
information available as to where C.C. Baldwin actually attended law school, though circumstances point
to the likely probability that he studied law in Staunton, Virginia.  Few law schools were in existence in
Virginia at the time and the renowned Tucker law school in Winchester had just closed its doors.  (A
man of notable acclaim, Judge John W. Brockenbrough had studied at the Tucker law school 1827-28
but he did not open the Lexington Law School until 1849.)  Both the 1830 census and West Point
Military Academy records indicate that C.C. Baldwin resided in Staunton during that time period.  
Fortuitously, Judge Briscoe Gerard Baldwin, his uncle and renowned jurist of the Virginia Court of
Appeals, established a law school in Staunton in 1831.  Typically, a law school session was a year or
less in length, which would have allowed C.C. Baldwin the opportunity to complete his studies at his
uncle’s law school before relocating to Rockbridge County.   Law records of the Court of Rockbridge
County indicated that he was licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia on April 18,
1835.  Of particular interest, Judge Baldwin’s son, also named Briscoe Gerard Baldwin (Jr.), younger
cousin of C.C. Baldwin, graduated VMI, the class of 1848.  And during the Civil War, then a Lt. Colonel,
Briscoe Gerard Baldwin served on the staff of General Robert E. Lee as his Chief of Ordnance, from
November 1862 until paroled at Appomattox April 1865.

Early upon C. C. Baldwin’s arrival in Rockbridge County he engaged himself in the newspaper
business.  The acquisition of The Union, a weekly newspaper published in Lexington in the early 1830’s
allowed him to portray his Whig political views.  As new editor, he continued to publish the paper, name
unchanged, beginning in June 1834.  By July (17th) the following year he selected a more appropriate
herald to identify the newspaper.  He chose, the Lexington Gazette.  At $2.50 per annum, it was four
pages in length and published weekly on Fridays.  To those interested, advertisements could be had for
one dollar per square for three insertions, and to the general readership letters addressed to the editor
were required to be “post paid” before picked up at the post office.  Cyrus Briscoe Baldwin, younger
brother of C. C. Baldwin, occasionally filled in as editor in his absence.  In the third year of publication,
the Baldwin brothers became business associates.  In the way of a vague explanation, a column printed
in the paper addressed to its patrons on September 29, 1837 read in part, “As the Editor’s attention will
hereafter be mainly diverted to other pursuits…”  From that point on and for a period of time, his
brother, Cyrus, continued to edit the newspaper alone.

The situation became more apparent to the reading public not six weeks later when a small and
unobtrusive notice appeared in the paper announcing the marriage of C.C. Baldwin and Margaret
Paxton on Thursday, November 16, 1837, by Rev. Wm. Cunningham.  On December 1st, a Law Notice
also appeared in the paper touting the formation of a partnership in the practice of law in the County of
Rockbridge listing Alex H. H. Stuart and Cornelius C. Baldwin.  Their office in Lexington located one door
south of the office occupied by Wm. Taylor, Esq.  (Stuart, who was a first cousin once removed to C.C.
Baldwin and a native of Augusta County, later became a renowned political figure in both Virginia and
the Federal governments, was appointed Secretary of the Interior under President Fillmore, and in his
later years served as president of the Virginia Historical Society.)

Unexpectedly, a few months later, in March 1838, still another Law Notice appeared announcing:
Attorneys at Law, C. C. Baldwin and J.G. Baldwin, practicing law in Alabama and Mississippi.  A rather
sudden move to Gainesville, Alabama for the newlywed Baldwins!  Evidently influenced by his brother,
Joseph, who had already been practicing law there in Alabama for two years, citing that, “…all the flood-
gates of litigation were opened.”  (Married in 1839, Joseph G. Baldwin later served a single term in the
Alabama House of Representatives in 1843, was also an author who penned his most popular book,
The flush times in Alabama and Mississippi, a collection of humorous sketches published in 1853, which
was alleged, by the way, to be a favorite of Abraham Lincoln’s.  The following July he and his family
moved to San Francisco, California where he subsequently became a justice and later the chief justice
of the California Supreme Court.)  

In the course of the ensuing months, C.C. Baldwin also collaborated with his youngest brother, Cyrus,
who was absent as editor from the Lexington Gazette “for the winter” in 1838-39, on a political
newspaper called the Alabama State Intelligencer.  Amid their time there, Margaret Baldwin gave birth to
their first-born son, John, in mid-October.

A year later, C. C. Baldwin and family returned to Rockbridge County precipitated by the death of his
father-in-law, Hugh Paxton, who died November 4,1839.  Once back in Rockbridge County, he resumed
the editorship of what he touted as the newly invigorated Lexington Gazette displaying its banner set in
new type purchased in New York -- emphasizing the beginning of a new series.  Volume 1, #1 was
published on Saturday, November 30, 1839 -- not quite three weeks after the very first cadets
matriculated at VMI.  The next issue was published on a Tuesday ten days afterward.  Nonetheless, by
August 1840, he relinquished ownership of the newspaper to a new editor: Oliver P. Baldwin.  (Mr. O.P.
Baldwin, previous editor of the Cleveland Daily Advertiser in 1835, went on to edit the Lexington Gazette
for the next six years until he departed to become part owner and editor of the newly constituted
Richmond Daily Republican newspaper.)

C. C. Baldwin’s brother, Cyrus, remained in Alabama, where he studied law.  Later he settled in
Houston, Mississippi and was elected to the legislature.  As a delegate, he voted for secession in
January 1861.  Married, Cyrus enlisted March 5, 1862 as a lieutenant in Company C, 31st Mississippi
Infantry Regiment (the Chickasaw Guards) only to die a few months later of “camp fever” (Typhus) on
June 22, 1862.  He was buried in the Soul’s Rest Cemetery, Chickasaw County, MS.  Noting his death,
the Lexington Gazette, in October 1862, praised Cyrus B. Baldwin as a former editor of the paper who
died in the army.  {A bit of trivia: those who are familiar with the present day conservative columnist and
sometime political figure, Pat Buchanan – well Cyrus Briscoe Baldwin was his great, great grandfather.}

The Temperance crusade against the use of alcohol began in the north in the 1820s.  By 1835
membership multiplied in temperance organizations and spread across the country.  At the young age
of 24, C.C. Baldwin was selected to the position of Vice President of the Southern Temperance Star
convention held in Staunton, in June of 1835.

A month later he was appointed secretary of the Central Temperance Society of Rockbridge County.  At
a society meeting held in March of 1837, C. C. Baldwin delivered the first “teetotal” speech in the lecture
room of the Lexington Presbyterian Church.  His opening remarks to a mixed audience of  “100 partial
friends” were direct.  He declared, “ I frankly confess that I am one of those ultra fanatics who would
sweep all intoxicating drinks from the festive board.”  He went on to reveal that three years earlier he
was a zealous member of a temperance society in the adjacent county of Augusta.  At the request of the
society, his address was featured in his newspaper, requiring two full pages (12 columns in all) to
publish its entirety.  Some four decades later and still remembered, it was publicly stated of C.C.
Baldwin, by a member of the local Good Templars lodge, that he was, “entitled to the honor of being the
pioneer Teetotal Temperance Reformer in Rockbridge.”

 The Fourth of July, 1837 provided C.C. Baldwin with the opportunity to deliver a verbose patriotic
speech at the annual celebration in Lexington.  It of course was featured on the front page of the paper,
requiring two full pages, on July 14, 1837.  The following year, his brother, Cyrus, featured a shorter
Fourth of July address in the Lexington Gazette, conveyed by C. C. Baldwin all the way from Gainesville,

Margaret Paxton, C. C. Baldwin’s first wife, was a descendent of a well-established line of Paxton’s
beginning with John Paxton II who had purchased 200 acres of Rockbridge County land in 1760, then
known as Balcony Falls and now Glasgow, from the Salling family who had twenty years earlier been
granted 400 acres, in 1741.  John Paxton’s daughter, Elizabeth, married Samuel Huston and it was their
son, Margaret’s first cousin once removed, who was the renowned General Sam Huston -- the Texas
national hero.  Paxton’s son, John Paxton III, married Phoebe Alexander in early 1767 after he
purchased those same 200 acres from his father and built a log house at the foot of Sallings Mountain.  
In December 1777, during the Revolutionary War, only a month after the General Assembly of Virginia
created Rockbridge County from Botetourt and Augusta counties, John Paxton endured the winter
hardships of the Continental Army troops with General George Washington at Valley Forge.  Three
years later, March 15, 1781, at Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina -- considered the largest and most
hotly contested action of the Revolutionary War -- Paxton fought the British under the command of
Colonel Samuel McDowell from Rockbridge County.  He was the son of Captain John McDowell who four
decades earlier died in the first clash between the settlers and the Indians, in what is now the southern
portion of Rockbridge County, on December 18, 1742. (Today, several hundred yards north of Cottage
Farm can still be found a stream flowing through the woods, emanating from high in the Blue Ridge
Mountains behind, and close to the mouth of the Maury River, aptly named Battle Run. It was along this
stream that the Indian battle took place.)  Captain John Paxton was in command of a company of
rifleman at Guilford Courthouse and was armed with his flintlock rifle.  He was severely wounded in the
foot during the raging battle and laid in the woods overnight in a cold downpour as the troops retreated
from the battlefield.  Fortunately, before he did die, six years later, from the effects of his wound, he had
a daughter Isabella.  She married Hugh Paxton in 1802 and they became the parents of Margaret
Paxton, the fourth of seven children, born September 27, 1813.  John Paxton’s older son Alexander,
who never married, took possession of the flintlock rifle that became the Paxton family heirloom.  
Margaret’s older sister, Aurelia Paxton and her husband Peter A. Salling played an early and formative
role in the lives of two of Margaret’s children.  Hence, the connections between the Baldwin, Paxton and
Salling families.

The Baldwins named their first child, John Paxton Baldwin, after Margaret’s celebrated grandfather when
he was born on October 17, 1838 while they lived in Alabama.  Despite deafness that manifested itself
in early boyhood, “Jack”, as he was known to his close friends and family, became self-educated in
Latin, Greek, French and German, and well versed in philosophy, science, math and the classics.  
During his life, he steadily accumulated a library of some 200 books. Although he loved to read books
and newspapers and was devoted to his studies, he labored daily on the farm and never married.  
Found unfit for military duty in 1861 “at the first tap of the drum” John Paxton Baldwin promptly served
with the Home Guard on several occasions when Rockbridge County was threatened by Union troops.  
Sadly, at age 43, he passed away suddenly in his sleep while living at home.  He was buried in the
Paxton family cemetery in Glasgow, beside his sister, Aurelia, who died only a few months earlier.

The Paxton flintlock rifle was willed to John’s mother by her uncle, Alexander Paxton, and it came into
John’s possession when Margaret died of consumption (Tuberculosis) on April 13, 1847.  Proudly, John
Paxton Baldwin presented his great-grandfather’s rifle, powder horn and bullet pouch on July 1, 1856 to
the Virginia Military Institute and stated in part in his letter of presentation, “Cherishing with pride these
memorials of the gallantry and patriotism of my ancestor, I commit them, as a sacred trust, to the Cadets
of the Virginia Military Institute…”  (A significant presentation, it is considered the beginning of the VMI
Museum.)  Proudly acknowledging that they would “preserved them with pious care” by VMI’s
superintendent, Francis H. Smith, they remained on display there until the June 1864 Civil War raid of
Lexington by Major General Hunter. The rifle was apparently carried off by Union troops who ransacked
and burned VMI.  Around the early 1900s the rifle was discovered in the office of the renowned Leland
Hotel, in Springfield, Illinois bearing a label identifying its owner at the battle of Guilford, North Carolina
in March of 1781.  Unfortunately, its present whereabouts is still a mystery today, due to a few obscuring
circumstances. First, the rifle may have been lost for all time in a fire when The Leland Hotel burned
down in 1908.  A new hotel was built to replace it in1909. Or, possibly, and more hopefully, when the
hotel finally closed its doors a half a century later, the rifle may have then been sold at an auction of the
hotel’s contents – in which case it may still be intact, somewhere, in someone’s possession.

Aurelia Elizabeth Baldwin, their second child, was born January 16, 1844 and was named after both C.
C. and Margaret’s sisters.  At the age of 20, during the Civil War, Aurelia married Major Alexander M.
Garber on March 16, 1864.  Prior to their marriage, then a captain, Garber served on the staff of
Stonewall Jackson, during the Valley Campaign, as the chief assistant to Jackson’s Quartermaster,
Major John A. Harmon.  (Years after the war, Major Garber was touted as a “clever writer” by the
Lexington Gazette referring to his book entitled: Life of Major John Harmon.)  {Who by the way was quite
a colorful character, a Virginian, described as “big-bodied, big-voiced, short-tempered, incredibly
profane and not afraid of anything”, including Stonewall Jackson!}  Interestingly, Major Garber’s mother,
Elizabeth Holmes Baldwin, married to William H. Garber of Staunton, was the sister of C.C. Baldwin. (In
other words, Alexander Garber’s mother was his wife’s Aunt.)  Aurelia Baldwin and Alexander Garber
soon after had two children, William and Margaret born three years apart.  While the children were in
their teens and her husband already deceased, Aurelia died at the early age of 37 after a short illness.  
She was buried in the Paxton family cemetery in Glasgow and only a few steps away from the grave of
her soon to be buried half brother, John.  Their daughter Margaret eventually married Eben Locher and
had a son born in 1899 that they named after Margaret’s parents, Baldwin Garber (B.G.) Locher.  (It is
B.G. Locher’s name that is today found marking the bridge over the Maury River at Glasgow.  It was
also B.G. Locher who was the last owner of Willow Grove before the house burned down in 1958.)  
Needless to say, C.C. Baldwin was B.G. Locher’s great-grandfather.  Hence, the connections between
the Baldwin, Garber and Locher families.

Joseph Salling Baldwin, their youngest child, was born September 1, 1846.  He was only 7 months old
when his mother died.  Both he and his sister Aurelia, who was then 3 years old, went to live with
Margaret’s sister Aurelia and her husband Peter A. Salling.  For a decade, they were both treated as
the Salling’s adopted children to the extent that Peter Salling generously included them in his will dated
May 7, 1856 a month before he died.  Joseph age 9, was bequeathed “…my land on the east side of
North River formerly belonging to Hugh Paxton, together with some 45 acres of mountain land …” and to
Aurelia age 12 “…my debt against Edward Echols … about $4300…”.  In deference, Joseph, whose
middle initials were E. D. at birth, took the middle name of Salling instead and retained it for the rest of
his life.  After C.C. Baldwin remarried in October 1858, his three children were again all living together
as a family, along with his new wife.  A month after his sister Aurelia was married, Joseph, then age 17,
enlisted in the Rockbridge Junior Reserves, Co. F, 4th Battalion, April 16, 1864.  He was wounded in
action at Piedmont two months later.  Afterwards, he transferred to McClannahan’s Battery, which was
ordered to Petersburg in 1865, and returned home to Rockbridge County after Appomattox.  Joseph
attended the Norwood Academy in Nelson County and the University of Virginia in 1868-69.  Later, he
graduated from the University of Maryland -- School of Medicine in 1874.  He also served as a
Representative of Baltimore County in the Maryland Legislature in 1885-86 and again in 1888-89.  
While living in Maryland, he married Nammie Bissell in May 1890 and together they had four children:
Blanche, Paxton, Joseph, Jr. and Nammie.  Living much longer than his older siblings, at nearly age 70,
Joseph Salling Baldwin died May 6, 1916 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Subsequent to his journalistic endeavors, C.C. Baldwin became an entrepreneur of sorts, engaged in
the sale, conveyance, grant and manipulation of real and personal property by way of deed, deed of
trust and indenture.  Commencing with his father-in-law’s tract of land in the Balcony Falls area, the
deceased Hugh Paxton, in April 1841.  By judicial ordered, as the result of a chancery suit brought by C.
C. Baldwin and his wife Margaret, the Hugh Paxton Homestead consisting of 264 acres was divided into
six unequal portions and devised to the Paxton heirs (his children: Aurelia, Elizabeth, Mary Jane, the
heirs of Lucinda deceased, John and C.C.’s wife, Margaret) and their spouses.  Sixty-seven acres near
the mouth of the North River, adjoining the lands of James Paxton and Peter Salling was his first real
estate endeavor.  This very same tract of land, eventually, became know as Cottage Farm.  However,
over the next few years, it was the center of legal wangling that involved several persons and resulted in
its purchase for $500 by Margaret as a femme sole and for her heirs.  When she died in 1847, it
reverted to her husband C.C. Baldwin.  A few years later, in 1853, C.C. Baldwin purchased 330 acres
near Natural Bridge situated on both sides of what was then referred to as the Lynchburg Turnpike for
$2100.  Ten years later, he granted 15 of those acres in three separate parcels to the Methodist
Episcopal Church at Natural Bridge for use as a cemetery, a church and parsonage.  Various structures
on C.C. Baldwin’s many properties were also offered for rent, such as a large blacksmith shop near
Natural Bridge and a large brick dwelling house in Amherst County.  In April of 1867, C.C. Baldwin
bought 4,442 acres of mountain land along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Amherst County near Balcony
Falls.  Five months later, he conveyed 250 of those acres to his son Joseph, who had just turned twenty-
one, and another 150 acres to his children, Joseph, John and Aurelia, jointly.  His son Joseph already
owned two tracts of land bequeathed to him by Peter Salling, a significant parcel, 115 acres of Hugh
Paxton’s land on the east side of the North River and 45 acres of mountain land.

Five years later, on September 9, 1871, C.C. Baldwin’s son, Joseph, granted his father all of his land
holdings which included the old Hugh Paxton Homestead then first referred to in a legal document as
“Willow Grove” (about 115 acres) and a tract of woodland (about 70 acres), known as the “Entry” and
his reversionary interest in what was then named “Cottage Farm”, adjoining Willow Grove (containing 65
acres) then occupied by his father, C.C. Baldwin, as a “life tenant”, as well as the 250 acres of mountain
land and his 1/3 interest in an additional adjoining 150 acres in Amherst County (conveyed to him
previously by his father), and finally, the five year lease of Willow Grove farm made to John Campbell
that commenced earlier that year.  All in exchange for $500 in hand, payment of all legal demands on
Joseph to date, $500 in gold annually for his lifetime, board and lodging at his father’s residence and a
riding horse if he chooses to reside with him, along with several other miscellaneous stipulated legal
obligations.  This exchange transpired as Joseph was preparing to depart for Maryland and his pursuit
of a career in medicine.

Delinquent taxes by C.C. Baldwin precipitate the sale of the Cottage Farm property by the Treasurer of
Rockbridge County on August 2, 1886.  Fortunately, his youngest son, B.G. Baldwin purchased the
property at auction and therefore retained Cottage Farm in the family. Two years after the auction sale,
B.G. Baldwin petitioned the Rockbridge County Court contending that the tract of land was incorrectly
represented by survey as 65 acres.  The court ordered that the land be surveyed again and found that
it was in fact short by 4 ½ acres.  B.G Baldwin was ordered by the court to pay the survey cost of $2.75;
only then was the record duly corrected.   

Not unlike many others in Rockbridge County in the pre-Civil War era, C. C. Baldwin owned slaves.  The
U. S. Census, conducted at ten-year intervals, recorded the slave population listed by owner during that
time period.  The 1840 census recorded that he owned 2 slaves (a male and female) then the 1850
census recorded 4 slaves (2 males and 2 females).  In the 1860 census the number had increased
three-fold to twelve (8 males and 4 females).  In contrast, ten years earlier, the 1850 census recorded
Peter A. Salling owned 22 slaves and Charles H. Locher owned 18 slaves.  Conventional wisdom of the
time recognized that investment in slaves was financially secure compared to the risks of banks and
stocks.  Of the number of slaveholders in Virginia in 1860, nearly half owned four or less slaves.
Acting as an agent for Alexander Paxton, his wife’s uncle who also owned six slaves, C.C. Baldwin
advertised in the Lexington Gazette April 8, 1847, “A Valuable Negro Girl for Sale” for cash at public
auction before the Courthouse in Lexington.  The ad went on to read, “About ten years old”, and
stipulated, “…that she shall be permanently retained in the county.” Slave auction was indeed a
common practice conducted in Rockbridge County at the time.

Alexander Paxton died six weeks after the auction and only one month after the early demise of his
niece, Margaret Baldwin.  Not only did C.C. Baldwin have to tend to his wife’s funeral and private affairs,
but he also had to administer Alexander Paxton’s will and act as curator of his estate. This was an
undertaking that stretched over the next five years.  Margaret’s heirs received 5/6ths of one seventh of
a 110-acer portion of her uncle’s farm along the James River. (Roughly 13 acres).  In time, all of his
land was sold, as was the crops, livestock, farm implements, household furnishings and his six slaves
valued at $1,255.  For his services, C.C. Baldwin annually drew compensation from Alexander Paxton’s

In the ensuing months after C.C. Baldwin’s wife Margaret’s death, he was desirous to settle any
outstanding claims against him by all persons in the County of Rockbridge.  He did so by advertisement
in the Lexington Gazette in June of 1848 indicating that his post office address was Balcony Falls and
that he was residing “at the farm recently occupied by the late Mr. Alexander Paxton, situated on the
James River, about a mile above the mouth of the North River, and five miles east of Natural Bridge”.  
He further announced and advertised to the citizens of the county that he still practiced law and was
cleverly attempting to drum up clients by a charge of only half-price if he won the case and pay the
costs out of his own pocket if he lost through his own fault.  He referred to his practice somewhat
whimsically, as his “Cheap Law Shop.”

Evidently emotionally drained by these several devastating and stressful events in his life, all occurring
one after the other: the loss of his wife, the burden of her uncle’s affairs, and the dejection of a recently
failed run for political office, C.C. Baldwin soon undertook a solitary trek far away from Rockbridge
County.  In all likelihood, he made a return journey to Alabama and Mississippi to visit his brothers,
Joseph and Cyrus.  Many months later, upon his return to Rockbridge County, he once again was
hawking his law services via a newspaper ad of March 27, 1849.  In it he explained, “having returned
with rejuvenated energies and a long beard, from a most beautiful jaunt to the Southwest (in the course
of which I traveled three thousand miles on horseback)…”  As his brother, Joseph, so aptly wrote in one
of his sketches about Virginians, “He may breathe in Alabama, but he lives in Virginia.  His treasure is
there, and his heart is also.”  C. C. Baldwin was reinvigorated and not long after, focused on a new
issue that captured his attention.

The James River & Kanahwa Canal Company began construction and improvements to the 200-mile
canal, in 1832, westward from Richmond to its terminus in Buchanan.  Construction of the canal along
the North River (known today as the Maury River, re-named in 1945 after the famous Commodore
Matthew F. Maury) began in 1851 by the North River Navigation Company.  The canal, a twenty-mile
stretch from the confluence of the James River at Balcony Falls to the wharves and docks at Lexington,
took ten years to complete.  Ten miles of hand-dug canal, numerous locks and dams, 20 miles of
towpath, five boat landings, bridges, aqueducts, culverts and various warehouses were constructed
along the North River.  The new canal construction started at the mouth of the North River and passed
though various properties as it progressed.  The first five miles, the longest section of canal on the
river, took four years of manual labor to complete.

In February 1852, eminent domain was imposed and a portion of C.C. Baldwin’s land in that first five
miles had been condemned for use by the North River Navigation Company.  Of course that was a
vexing situation for C. C. Baldwin.  He was however compensated $250 for damages sustained.  His
neighbors encountered similar situations with their land.  One summer, amid a drought, C.C. Baldwin
willfully and regardless of the rights of the company had a ditch cut through the towpath on the line of
the canal passing through his land to irrigate his crop.  He and others had been an opponent of the
North River Navigation Company from the beginning.  Fraud and deliberate deceit were accusations
leveled at the company.  At issue was the actual cost of the canal construction.  In the end he was
proven right; the canal cost over five times the stated estimate.

During the Civil War, navigation of the James and North rivers played a principal part in transporting
supplies and troops for the Confederacy.  And in May 1863, it was a somber mission when Stonewall
Jackson’s body was carried up the canal from Lynchburg to Lexington onboard the packet boat Marshall
for his funeral in Lexington.  After the War, Robert E. Lee’s wife also traveled up the canal to join her
husband at Washington College in Lexington.

Eventually, the railroad displaced the canal and on March 4, 1880 the property of the North River
Navigation Company was sold to the Richmond & Allegheny Railroad.  Track was laid along much of the
canal’s towpath on the east side of the North River to Lexington.  However, this railroad soon went
defunct and present day River Road runs along some portions of the old abandoned railroad bed.  
Likewise, mere remnants of what had once been a portion of the canal system can still be seen, if you
look carefully, paralleling a section of Route 501 in front of Cottage Farm.  In contrast, the Shenandoah
Valley Railroad with tracks running along the opposite bank of the North River constructed
approximately the same time period has survived to present day as a freight line, albeit it has
undergone several road name changes since. (Today, the Norfolk Southern and CSX are the railroads
rolling through Glasgow.)  In the distance, day or night, the periodic rhythmic rumble of a train rolling
along the tracks and the blowing of its horn can be pleasingly discerned from Cottage Farm, just as it
had in C.C. Baldwin’s day.  Only then it was the chug, whistle and curling smoke of the steam
locomotive, today it is the throaty rumble and horn blast of the diesel locomotive.

Early political aspirations were thawed when C.C. Baldwin became an unsuccessful Rockbridge County
candidate in April of 1841, for the House of Delegates.  Again, in 1846 he lost another bid to represent
Rockbridge County receiving only 11% of the votes.  Fifteen years later, on the brink of the Civil War,
his staunch secessionist views kept him from winning a chance to represent Rockbridge County at the
Virginia’s Constitutional Convention in February 1861 along with Judge John W. Brockenbrough. They
lost to the Unionist candidates Samuel McDowell Moore and James B. Dorman by an overwhelming
margin.  C.C. Baldwin garnered the least amount of votes among the candidates -- 75 votes, a mere two
percent.  After the war ended, in a rambling and a somewhat poignant public response to an open letter
written to the editor of the Lexington Gazette in September 1865, nominating C.C. Baldwin to the House
of Delegates, and to those who made personal solicitations in the same regard, he expressed his
appreciation, but flatly declined the intention and plainly bid his farewell to political office once and for all.

Susan Ann Sale age 24, daughter of Mary and Thomas Sale of Balcony Falls, became 47-year-old C.C.
Baldwin’s second wife.  In contemplation of the marriage, they entered into a marriage contact filed with
the Rockbridge County clerks office on the first of September 1858 which conveyed to her all his
household and kitchen furnishings at his residence enumerated in the contract, including four milk cows,
three yearling heifers and a young bay horse named Prince, also stipulated was that she may not claim
a dower in any of his then owned real estate.  They were married the very next day.  Two sons emerged
from this union. Charles C.C. Baldwin, born July 18, 1859, not quite a year before the Civil War erupted
and Briscoe Gerard (B.G.) Baldwin born not quite a year after the Civil War ended, on January 17,
1866. Charley was a cadet at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in Blacksburg
(established in 1872 and now known as Virginia Tech).  He studied there for a session and a half,
before he became stricken with a long distressing illness contracted while he was posted at an
encampment in Richmond.  Tragically, he died at home only three weeks after his eighteenth birthday
and was the first Baldwin to be buried in the Paxton family cemetery in Glasgow.  On the other hand, his
youngest son, B.G. Baldwin, named after his esteemed relative, Judge Briscoe Gerard Baldwin of
Staunton, enjoyed longevity and followed closely in his father’s footsteps.

The current Mrs. C. C. Baldwin took an active role on the home front during the Civil War commencing
as early as 1862.  She served as the secretary of The Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society for Natural Bridge
district.  Her husband and sons were all dues paying associate members.  The organization raised
money and procured clothing and supplies for the men of the Confederate Army.  They particularly
favored the Stonewall Brigade with aid and comfort.  In 1864, the LSAS sent the equivalent of four
thousand dollars worth of supplies along with a letter of encouragement to the famous Brigade’s
commanding officer for distribution among the men.

Not to be out done, in the latter part of the war, her husband too was voluntarily engaged in support of
the “noble soldiers” and “wounded boys” in raising a hospital fund of $20,000.  When word came of Lee’
s surrender at Appomattox in April 1865, subscriptions had already been obtained for more than half
that amount.  Forlorn, C.C. Baldwin soon after lamented, “On that darkest day of my life, when, amidst
the tears and groans of the Southern people, the Confederate cause went down the drain beneath the
overwhelming forces of the enemy.”

After a mourning period of appropriate duration and deference, and the rearing of both a youngster and
a newborn son, C. C. Baldwin directed his interests anew.  Manifesting a keen interest in the education
of children of the Public Schools in Natural Bridge district in the mid 1870’s, C. C. Baldwin, at the
request of Dr. W. H. Ruffner, Superintendent of Public School Instruction of Virginia, undertook the task
of Inspector.  He was not compensated whatever for his services.  He promised a detailed and official
report for publication of “these terribly neglected and mismanaged schools, by our School Officials.”  
(Apparently, Public Schools were a hot issue for the general public at the time and were regularly
discussed, at length, in the newspapers.)  Initially, he suggested that the school district adopt the “Roll
of Honor and Merit-Ticket system of School Discipline”, which had been in successful operation in the
best schools throughout the United States for years.  Testimonials from teachers with regard to the
practical results of the system after many months of use were published in the Lexington Gazette on
May 19, 1876.  Letter after letter extolled its virtues and successful results.  Miss Claiborne Scott wrote
from Balcony Falls, “…I had to scold and whip less than before. It aided me vastly in the proper
management of my school.”  From Mr. R. H. Davies of Arnold’s Valley, “I have to say that I approve of it
very highly, and that it has effected a most decided improvement in the punctuality, deportment and
diligence of my pupils – so much so that I have laid aside the rod.”  Pleasant H. Smith (colored) of the
Negro school, Balcony Falls, concurred with the remarks of the others and also took the occasion to
thank C.C. Baldwin for the chair and blackboard that he furnished to the Valley school.

Around the same time, C.C. Baldwin authored a small booklet entitled Moral Maxims for Schools &
Families.  The Lexington Gazette, in its March 23, 1877 paper, contained a notice for the 3rd edition of
his 16-page booklet printed in Petersburg, VA.  The earlier editions: a first edition, in April 1876, a
pamphlet of 9 pages and a second edition of 11 pages had been first entitled Moral Mottoes and printed
in Lynchburg.  Anyone interested could have found the first edition for sale at a local bookstore for ten
cents.  It focused on “being a collection of moral aphorisms originally prepared for the common schools
of Virginia and the South, but equally adapted to families and individuals.”  Evidently the book became
quite popular and attracted endorsements from several notable men, for instance: the Hon. Hugh Blair
Grigsby, Chancellor of William and Mary College, the Hon. R.C. L. Moncure, President of the Supreme
Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Hon. Walter R. Staples of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  Even
more revealing however, a prominent bookseller in Richmond sold the book without commission!  In all,
its increased demand required as many as six editions. Even a detractor, a Rockbridge Teacher (who
chose to be incognito), was highly critical and derisive of another contemporary work of C. C. Baldwin
for all to read in the columns of the newspaper in November 1877, conversely, acknowledged with
regard to his Moral Maxims that, “Mr. Baldwin is no doubt deeply versed in morals.”

This other work of C.C. Baldwin, a twenty-four--page booklet entitled, “Primary Language Lessons; or
How to Talk and Write correctly”, contained twenty lessons of right and wrong examples, intended to
teach children in the schools correct English, which the Lexington Gazette said of its author, “ … he
makes that hitherto dull and wearisome study as pleasant as Maury does geography.”  In its first
printing, the booklet was distributed among teachers of Rockbridge for review, followed by a second
revised and corrected edition for use in the schools.  However, before the revised edition appeared,
that same “Rockbridge Teacher” who denounced it as “Ungrammatical Grammar” felt the repudiation of
C. C. Baldwin’s searing defense in the same media a few weeks later.  There he deftly countered each
criticism one by one and in a post script sardonically sneered, “…in defiance of all the pedants in the
world, headed by Dr. Pangloss, up, I submit ought for this erudite performance alone, to be made an LL.
D., “with an A double S.”

On a more softhearted note, on February 2, 1880, by means of a legal document filed with the court of
Rockbridge County, a 12 -year old youngster named Rosa Lee Brown, an orphan after her mother
Fanny Brown died, acquired C. C. Baldwin as her legal guardian -- no doubt, with his full agreement.  
The 1880 census listed the members of the Baldwin household as: C. C. Baldwin age 66 {he fudged a
little he was actually 68} a lawyer, Susan age 45 wife, John P. age 41 farmer, Briscoe G. age 14 son,
and Rosa Lee Brown w/f age 12 listed as ward.  Apparently, she had been residing with the family for at
least ten years, as she was recorded in the Baldwin household records of the 1870 census and would
have been a mere toddler then.

B.G. Baldwin, youngest son of C.C. and his wife, Susan, was educated close by at the Fancy Hill
Academy in Rockbridge County, a private school designed “to prepare boys for college or the business
of life.”  Afterward, he left home and worked in railroad construction in Kentucky and later (circa 1885)
became involved in the mercantile business in Alabama near the Sheffield and Birmingham Coal and
Iron and Railway Company.  When his health began to fail he returned to Rockbridge County.  Later,
with improved health, he became a successful local businessman despite the times.  Like his father, B.
G. Baldwin preferred using his initials, was a Notary Public for 20 years, dabbled in real estate, politics,
the law and other endeavors, as well.  He established the Baldwin Mercantile Store located at 7th Street
and Anderson Street in Glasgow and later the Baldwin-Echols & Company department store that
occupied the first floor of the Masonic Temple at the corner of McCullough Street and Blue Ridge Road.
(Both of these companies have long been out of business.)

When Cornelius Clark Baldwin met his earthly demise, on Monday, May 14, 1894, his three younger
siblings, his first wife, three of his five children, and one grandchild had already preceded him.  
Naturally, he was buried in the Paxton family cemetery in Glasgow beneath the shade of a then young
oak tree grove, near his first wife, Margaret, surrounded by his children and marked by a simple
headstone facing east and in view of the grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Three days later, the
Lexington Gazette carried an exceptionally brief and inaccurate notice listing his death, “Died: At his
residence near Balcony Falls, in this county, on May 15th, Mr. C. C. Baldwin, aged 82 years.  Mr.
Baldwin was at one time the editor of this paper.”   In his book, The flush times of Alabama and
Mississippi, Joseph G. Baldwin wrote: “Eminently social and hospitable, kind, humane and generous is a
Virginian, at home or abroad.”  “By reason of these social traits, they necessarily become well
mannered, honorable, spirited, and careful of reputation, desirous of pleasing, and skilled in the
accomplishments which please.”  Perhaps, he had his older brother in mind.

After his father death, B.G. Baldwin remained at Cottage Farm caring for his mother, Susan, along with
two servants.  His mother lived for sixteen more years passing on at age 76 and was also interned next
to her husband in the Paxton family cemetery in Glasgow.  Before she died, her son, B.G. Baldwin,
married 26-year-old Olive Wilmont Edmonds of Glasgow circa 1902.  Cottage Farm continued to be
their home, while owning other real estate in town.  B.G. Baldwin served on the Glasgow Town Council
for many years and was instrumental in establishing the Bank of Glasgow in 1903, serving as a director
and vice-president, and later president.  He was also a practicing attorney and a member of the firm
Mathews, Baldwin & Company of Glasgow, Virginia.  

B.G. Baldwin and his wife Olive had three children, but only their daughter Mary survived to adulthood.
Their firstborn died as an infant and their last child at age fourteen.  Mary, who was born at Cottage
Farm in the front bedroom on the second floor, was 12 years old when her mother died in December
1919.  Soon after, at age 54, B.G. Baldwin married his sister-in-law, Frances Howard Edmonds who was
37 years old.  Together they had no children.  Before Olive’s death, she and her sister Frances, were
one of the twelve charter members of The Natural Bridge Chapter, National Society Daughters of the
Revolution organized March 18, 1918 in Glasgow.  (Which is still active there today.)  When B.G.
Baldwin died on October 7, 1949, at age 83, he too was buried in Glasgow, in the Paxton family
cemetery, adjacent to the stone monument marking the Baldwin family gravesites.  His wife Frances
lived on at Cottage Farm for thirteen more years.

Cottage Farm, in September1841, the tract of land previously a portion of the Old Hugh Paxton
Homestead (later known as Willow Grove), stretched more than a half-mile east of the North River
comprised of sixty-seven acres and was the residence of C.C. Baldwin.  A later survey made of the
property read in part, “Beginning at the four elms growing together on the east bank of the North River,
a corner to the upper W. G. Mathews tract and running thence, with lines of same, South 77° 30’ East
1384 feet to a Gum tree, thence South 63° 3’ East 775 feet to a stake in an old road…”   And it goes
on, and on, and on… staking out the entire parcel of land using whatever landmark was at hand.  Some
fifty years later, in 1891, just three years before his father died, B.G. Baldwin conveyed his 1/3rd share
of all but four and 1/4 acres and the dwelling house of the then 70 acre Cottage Farm property to the
Glasgow Development Company for the considerable sum of $10,999.10, which was to be developed
during the real estate boom in the early 1890s.  He was also granted use of the out buildings on the
property conveyed to the Glasgow Development Company until the land on which they stood was
actually needed by the company for development.  The previous year, his half-brother, Joseph and his
niece, Margaret Garber Locher (heir to her mother Aurelia’s 1/3 share) separately conveyed their
shares of Cottage Farm to the Glasgow Development Company agents each receiving $3,000.

Development in Rockbridge County took place at an accelerated speed and the town of Glasgow was
officially established in 1892.  That was a mere formality, by then, large tracts of farmland were
purchased by various land development companies and streets, parks and plots for houses were laid
out, merchants and manufactures opened businesses and factories, even the majestic Rockbridge
Hotel boasting electric lights was built in very short order. The Glasgow Herald newspaper printed its
first edition on May 16, 1890.  Soon after, C.C. Baldwin paid the Herald his respects and complements
on its appearance.  The subsequent editions of the paper told about the new Post Office, a telephone
office, railroad and local road construction, advertised for skilled tradesmen and generally boasted of
the growing community.  In a year’s time the town had grown from 80 to 1,000 inhabitants.  The town
attracted investors literally from far and abroad and developed quickly, but it soon went bust by 1900.  
Fortunately, the land on the east side of the river (then called East Glasgow), adjoining Cottage Farm
was not developed as intended, and to this day remains as it did then -- acres of farmland and
woodland tracts surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

B.G. Baldwin commissioned a number of renovations updating the house in the late1890s.  New
elaborate mantels made of metal and faux painted to simulate mahogany and oak, with detailed
engravings and attractive tiles, were imported from Europe and installed around two of many coal-
burning fireplaces.  The decorative fireplace grates were produced locally by the Virginia Mantel Grate
Co., Glasgow, VA -- one of those newly opened manufactures.  In 1922, a major addition was added to
the back of the house, two additional rooms, a second story open back porch and new kitchen equipped
with a wood burning stove.  (Possibly: a coal-burning furnace with radiator heat and electrical wiring for
lights and outlets.)

More recently, when Mary Baldwin-Denbo’s stepmother, Frances, died November 5, 1962, Cottage
Farm became hers as stipulated in her father’s will.  Married to a Naval aviator and no longer residing
there, she reluctantly sold her childhood home 15 months later.  Mary Baldwin-Denbo, the last Baldwin
owner of Cottage Farm, has since passed on and is buried along with her husband in Arlington National
Cemetery.  In all, there were five owners of Cottage Farm prior to its purchased by Ken & Denise
Gorsky, in March 1998.  The first new owners, Gerald Vaughn and his wife Genie (now owners of Fancy
Hill), resold the property in less than three months without occupying it to Walter Slayton and his wife
Elizabeth.  Eight years later they sold it to Reverend Richard Rogers and his wife Mary.  The Roger’s
lived there for 5 years raising a family and in turn sold it to Jerry Roberson, a pharmacist, and his wife
Shirley.  Finally, William and Audrey Vaughn became the fifth and longest owners (12 years) since the
Baldwin family.  They in turn sold it to the present owners, the Gorsky’s.  After renting out the property
for two and a half years, they took possession, renovated, retained the historic name and then opened
it as Cottage Farm Bed & Breakfast.

The present day vista peering westward from Cottage Farm looks out over more than a half-mile stretch
of farmland to the Maury River flowing along the base of both Salling and Miller Mountains carpeted with
lush hardwood trees sprawled beneath a magnificent sky.  As one directs their gaze southward and
follows along the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the mountains gradually descend in the distance into a
gorge that embraces the confluence of the Maury and the James Rivers, and Balcony Falls beyond.
Surely without question, it is the same view once aptly described by C.C. Baldwin, almost a century and
a half ago, a “… gorgeous panorama of earth and sky, which Nature, with lavish hand, spreads out for
the enjoyment of her children.”