Jarman Gap was first called Woods Gap. Michael Woods (Wood, according to some sources) and his family were the first to cross the Blue Ridge there
They came up from the Shenandoah Valley in 1734, the first known settlers of the mountain lands. Around 1800, Thomas Jarman bought the ridge-top land in the gap, and since then people have called it Jarman’s or Jarman Gap.
Three years after Woods settled on the east side of the gap, the county court issued him an order to clear a road “…[f]rom the Blue Ledge [as the Blue Ridge was then called] down to Ivy Creek.” His stretch of road was intended to be part of a route linking the Valley town of Staunton with Richmond. Because it was marked by notches on trees along the way, it became known as Three Notched Road.
During the Revolutionary War, thousands of British and Hessians captured at the Battle of Saratoga were marched to a prison camp near Charlottesville. When the British army approached the city in 1789, the prisoners were evacuated via the Three Notched Road.
Editor’s Note: Three Notched Road exists today as US Route 250, stretching from the western area of Richmond to Charlottesville. US Route 250, of course, continues west. In Richmond, the road is also known as Broad, or West Broad, Street.
From Shenandoah Secrets, the Story of the Park’s Hidden Past, by Carolyn and Jack Reeder.