The area called Hales Ford on old maps was covered by lake water when the Smith Mountain Lake was formed at Smith Gap. The area was called Moneta, but that little burg is really about two miles away on the other side of the Hales Ford bridge on route 122.
Bridgewater Plaza and other commercial areas serving the now resort development on the large lake, is on the peninsula, that a few feet below the water is the ford built by the Hales to cross the Roanoke River (now the Staunton River).
The deadly interview was with the Chamber of Commerce no doubt about the vacation opportunities on the lake.
To the south on the other side of river down a couple of miles is where the Nichols farms were where Keziah grew up. In the later years of the 1700's the first bridge was constructed.
While many Hales moved on to other places by the 1790's when Keziah was born, some still lived on land just to the west of here. In between was the prosperous Hook plantation and store. Millie Smith (who married Armstead Burgess) grew up just to the north, and her aunt married into the Hook and Preston family. Bowker Preston was a cousin, he partnered with the Hooks, and Holland families in the business. Millies mother was Ann Preston probably related too, but not yet discovered. Bowker of course comes from the Bowker Smith connection of our two minister gggggfathers.
So you can see that several of our root families were in this little burg that other than being the home of Booker T.. Washington to the west, is only notable due to the Hale and Hook families (and not very notable at that). While Armstead and his brothers formidable years were close to here, unfortunately the recent murders are probably the most important event ever.
It will be a grizzly reminder of an area where our people lived for at least 85 years.