VC&NS “Home Fund”
JRBF - Upcoming Events
Batteau Festival Maps & Info.
Batteau Festival Map
Click here to download larger size pdf file that you can print out.
2013 James River Batteau Festival Dates:
Friday June 14:
Boats parked at Amherst Boat Landing.
Sunday June 16:
Depart Galt's Mill.
Arrive at Bent Creek.
Monday June 17:
Depart Bent Creek.
Arrive at Wingina.
Tuesday June 18:
Arrive at Howardsville.
Wednesday June 19:
Thursday June 20:
Arrive at Slate River.
Friday June 21:
Depart Slate River.
Arrive at Cartersville.
Saturday June 22:
Arrive at Maiden's Landing approx. 4 pm
The Marshall Expedition DVD is now available on our online store. The price is $20 plus tax and shipping. This is a must have. We have a limited quantity of 10 copies to start and will order more if we run out.
VC&NS Members don’t forget to ask for your 20% off discount code. If you just got your Tiller in the mail it is printed on the green paper for the Member bring in a Member special.
After 35 successful years as a nonprofit organization researching, educating, and advocating for Virginia canals, batteaux and other historic watercraft, the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society is ready to settle down and display Virginia’s rich cultural waterway heritage. As the only nonprofit organization in Virginia specializing specifically in the historic river highways that helped found our great nation, (a once forgotten segment of history), VC&NS is uniquely positioned to create a museum of cultural waterway heritage of commonwealth and national interest. Throughout our 35 years, members have been collecting archives, artifacts and memorabilia of canal and river heritage and building navigable reproductions. It’s time to gather and share them with the public while also creating a much overdue VC&NS work place.
The VC&NS Board of Governors at their December 1, 2012 meeting launched a fund drive for the purpose of establishing a VC&NS home with space for meetings, workshops, archives, library and museum. We have begun the work of creating a funding plan, and needs assessment and exploring location possibilities. Already we are receiving offers from communities that are interested in working with us! If you would like to assist our “Home” committee, please contact Ellen Neal, (434) 263-4745 or Philip deVos, (434) 299-5249.
All donations to this temporarily restricted fund will be set aside for the express purpose of establishing a VC&NS home and if no home is established by December 1, 2017 (5 years from establishment date) then the VC&NS board of governors reserves the right to reevaluate and possibly reallocate the money towards the VC&NS general fund.
Donate now to help VC&NS establish our “Home”. VC&NS is a 501 (c) (3) organization. Your donation to this fund is 100% tax deductible.
Please send donations via usps to: VC&NS, c/o “Home Fund”, PO Box 62, Covesville, VA 22931-0062. Please write “Home Fund” on the for line of your check. You will be mailed a receipt for your tax deductible donation.
We appreciate your donation via check as that saves us transactions fees that are charged by PayPal. However, if you would like to donate and use your credit card, we accept donations via PayPal. You can use your credit card or PayPal account. Select the “Donate Now” button below. Thank you.
The fall meeting of the James River Batteau Festival had a great turnout.
Many people came and enjoyed good food with their batteau friends. Chairman Ralph Smith had a good meeting and was re-elected Chairman for yet another year while giving ample opportunity for others to step up if they wanted the job. Kevin Ferrell was elected as Vice-Chairman. DJ Barnard gave the financial report and all is well, even being a little more left over funds than the previous year. The festival is in good shape.
DJ was re-elected Treasurer and Betsy Healy was re-elected Secretary. Festival dates for 2013 were confirmed to be the same as previous years; starting Father’s day weekend which makes the festival dates June 15 – 22, 2013.
The Lady’s Slipper batteau group gave Ralph a bottle of wine from Lyn Peble’s Grey Haven Winery with a Lady’s Slipper batteau label on the bottle! This was for all his hard work helping them fix their batteau this spring.
The BBQ from William Davis was very good and all the food people brought was too.
People sat around the fire and it was a surprise to me when Lisa Barbieri backed up with a truck load of old boards from my old batteau “James River” that the Neal’s had purchased a few years ago. They tore up a lot of old boards, saving some of the long boards. The boards lisa brought we burned in the fire which was way cool for me considering that the batteau had survived a flood years ago while tied up to a tree on the bank up-river from the Rockfish and was slammed against the bank upside down with many broken sidearm ribs. We had fixed the boat back up again and it made it all the way down the river again a few more times after that. A couple of boat nails were removed from a couple of boards and a toast to my departed batteau friend “Flipper” was made.
Long into the evening some of us sat around the fire listening to Dave the “paddling potter” and others tell tales and pass around the jug. I almost fell off my chair when I saw Ellen Neal turn up a bottle of adult beverage to her lips and give us a big smile.
A few sprinkles of rain came around 10 pm and the group broke up for the night. The rain was welcome to me since it didn’t get so cold as it had been the night before. (I came a day early for no good reason but to be in Howardsville and Sat. am was a huge frost and was a very cold night indeed!).
Sunday Morning was fun. I cooked up some bacon and eggs. We ate left over cake and made tea. Several people took a day trip down-river to Hatton’s Ferry in canoes and kayaks.
My dog Jake and I sat around the campfire a little while and he ran so fast in the field across from the campsite. While waiting for the tent to dry out some I was trying to work the coals of the fire down and that seemed to take forever and it was still hot. Even after soaking with water it still took a while before I covered it back up with dirt in the mid-afternoon. Roger Nelson and I walked down to the camp by the river where some folks stayed and made sure that fire was out good too.
I left Howardsville with many good memories and drove home to New London via Appomattox and took my time. My dog Jake slept in the back seat most of the way home.
VC&NS Trustee/Webmaster/Tiller Editor
Photos from Maiden’s Landing:
Maiden’s Landing was calm and laid back as the batteaux slowly started coming in.
T-shirt sales for the JRBF were going well. I was excited to get a nice golf shirt with the sweep jrbf logo (not the old oval logo), embroidered. I still have some of the old style that I like very much, but the old shirts just don’t seem to fit the same anymore…..lol…
William Davis and the Sedalia Endeavor came creeping in after the Slate River. It was surprising to see William arrive with the first boats. They did well.
The batteau “River Time” came in third, and they were all decked out in old-timey clothes and the boat was all cleaned up good and they looked fantastic. Of course they yelled out “RIVER TIME” when they asked what time it was. The whole crew let out the shout “river time” like they have done at several landings.
Along the bank waiting for the batteau were a loyal group of Lady’s Slipper supporters. They were having a good time visiting and waiting.
So after a long week of driving an rv vehicle with manual transmission and a trailer behind it, I was getting tired. I had picked up my dog in Chester in the afternoon, after doing the postings at the Goochland Library. Traveling down rt. 288 in a slow moving vehicle was hard work with the other cars and trucks wizzing by! My dog was waiting inside the rv with the motor running and a/c running.
So with a few goodbyes here and there, and after getting the first few boats photos, I left Maiden’s Landing for 2012 and hoped the best for the remaining crews to come in. I know some had to come in much later.
It was a slow ride back to Lynchburg in the rv. It was nice to get home and unload my stuff and Jake (dog) and fill up the gas one more time in the rv and return it to Mason Basten’s home and get my car. It was funny to myself when I reached for the clutch with my foot, not thinking. whoa. Heading home finally. A great Batteau week covering the festival was behind me. Only this posting and batch of photos left to do. It’s now 4:30 am and I’m at my house. I woke up and decided to finish this posting and go to bed instead of the chair I fell asleep in earlier!
See you all next year! The JRBF is a big family and covering this event from the ground crew perspective is a good thing.
Please send in your river stories and photos. We would love to hear boat people’s stories and photos from the crew’s or Captain’s perspective. Send emails to email@example.com.
Former Captain of the retired batteau “James River”
JRBF Chairman 1996
Former crewmember of the Pride of Campbell County II
Photos from Cartersville Saturday Morning:
Saturday morning in Cartersville was a bit damp and foggy as it had rained again during the night on top of the storm that had hit earlier in the afternoon. It was nice and cool during the night for sleeping though!
The food vendor had pancakes and the fixins and many people enjoyed breakfast there.
Ralph Smith was laying on his box on the boat, waking up as I was taking some fog pictures early in the am. He was a happy camper. We called for a group photo at about 8:30 which was taken a little bit earlier than that.
The Dewey Pole award was given to The Lady’s Slipper from the Rocky Creek and thus the spirit of Dewey Wood was passed to another crew this year. The pole has a metal tip on it and was found years ago during the JRBF. The initials SC are welded on and that stands for “Sam Cabell”, which was the batteau Dewey was on prior to joining the Maple Run crew. Dewey was a batteau man that everyone loved, admired and respected.
Crews were getting ready for the last day. I cleaned out the freezer on the trailer behind the JRFC rv and gave away a tray of already cooked potatoes to a batteau crew, and then some ice cream to a kid on a boat and told him to share it however he wanted. The last of the cooked bacon and a bag of meatballs and various stuff went to the Grace of the James crew. The supplies were going to go to good use as much as possible I thought, or else get thrown out when we got back!
Cartersville was pretty nice and photogenic as the boats left for Maidens.
Photos from Cartersville on Friday night:
Cartersville was about like every other time in Cartersville. It was hot, then it rained good and there was mud.
The BBQ was very good from the food vendor.
Batteau came in gradually, some very late and some not at all. There were a couple of boats that stopped at the end of Elk Island and put out anchor.
Friday night at Cartersville wasn’t as loud and crazy as in some years past. Most crews were tired and wound down early for the last day.
Photos from Columbia:
After doing ground crew stuff like going to the store and doing postings for the website, I headed for Columbia, Virginia, Thursday afternoon. Right down from Dixie, yes, the heart of Dixie is where rt. 6 and 15 intersect near Columbia. I always thought that was cool. Meanwhile it was HOT in Columbia.
Some of the batteaux lazily came on by and stopped briefly on the way to Cartersville. Some ate lunch and some took on and off crew/riders etc. It was nice to see several batteaux in the same scene for the pictures. Elk Island is just down-river and most crews said they were going that way to see the aqueduct.
I then left Columbia for Cartersville.
Friday Morning in the Slate River campsite was a bit soggy but nice and cool. The storm had cooled things down nicely and that made for good sleeping! Stories abounded about the storm and where people were etc. Gradually boats got their stuff together and headed for Cartersville.
I headed for Fork Union and got some boat supplies and met the crew back at the New Canton boat ramp. There was a great chance to take photos of two old train engines that were sitting still waiting to back over the Bremo Bluff train bridge. I took a few photos.
The batteaux gracefully drifted on by as I waited on my crew. They got there a little while later and took on the supplies and were on their way. A canoeist in an aluminum canoe tied on to the rv trailer and hopped on board the Mary Marshall.
Thank you to the Goochland Library for the awesome internet connection. I got that good internet feeling again this am…lol… Andrew Shaw and I made up that term. He got that from the recent Marshall Expedition. When you are on the road it’s hard to get good internet!
Ok so It’s on to get some ice for the last day and pack it into the freezer on back of the trailer on the JRFC rv.
Then I’m on to Columbia to meet the crew. I think I’ll stop by Cartersville and take off this canoe first then wait at Columbia. It’s supposed to be hot again today. I like swimming at Columbia.
Photos from Slate River:
The Slate River site of the 2012 James River Batteau Festival was in one word, HOT.
Jeff Taylor laid back in a nice chair beside where I was sitting on a towel and several other ground crew people here and there. An informal snoring contest pursued.
The water in the river was cold where the Slate River comes into the James. Feeling the cold water on your legs and feet and warm above is wild. And the darn little minnows kept nibbling at my body all over as I swam. The funniest thing you could ever imagine was when Shirley Snidow, Spirit of the James – ground crew, all of a sudden screamed out like a little girl saying stop it!! and all sorts of expressions like that as she jumped up wildly in the water. Oh My gosh, not just one time but a bunch of times Shirley was a riot. Seems the little minnows were eating her up!
After a while Jeff Taylor looked at his smartphone and noticed a storm coming nearby. When it finally hit, it got crazy in camp real quick! I was in the rv and saw a tent go tumbling across the camp and parking lot on to the river where some people caught it. The tent belonged to Jeff Taylor’s daughter. The pop up tent for the t-shirt booth went flying up in the air as DJ saved the t-shirts and books and things! It rained like crazy for a while. Limbs and debris were scattered everywhere.
Meanwhile back on the river we heard about how they did in the storm. OMG!!! a bunch of boats pulled up in the aqueduct to ride out the storm. I heard that the Anthony Rucker was in last and stuck out slightly but that the Grace of the James and a bunch of others were huddled inside the aqueduct. Another boat, The Rockfish Runner was not so lucky. Brian was in the water and felt a strong electrical current go through him as lightening struck the water nearby. A girl on the Rockfish Runner was also there in the water and felt the current. THEN, she ALSO felt it again when on shore! Thats getting struck by lightening twice! One boy also buckled at his knees when it hit. Several people can tell what it was like to feel the electricity! So everyone knows, the entire crew is safe and sound and no one got seriously hurt.
At camp the Baptist Church had hamburgers and various items for sale for supper. That was real good.
As the night came on a few boats tied up in the middle of the james for the night. People hit the sack pretty early Thursday night.