New London Day 2016 was very nice

The 2016 New London day was very nice. Sponsored by The Friends of New London and Liberty University, the event was held at the historic village of New London which is just west of Lynchburg in Campbell County, VA. The VC&NS had a table with our publications on display.

Photos of the event have been posted on Click here to see photo gallery.

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    Tireless James – River Cleanup Event – October 22, 2016 – Howardsville to Scottsville

    Several of the Batteaux who participate in the annual James River Batteau Festival will be helping the James River Association on October 22nd, 2016 to clean out tires from the James River from Goolsby’s Falls, down-river from Howardsville to Scottsville.

    Canoeists and Kayakers are welcome to join in the fun. All help is appreciated!

    All boaters are asked if they can help get tires out of the James, starting AFTER Goolsby’s Falls. Tires will be gathered after the falls due to logistics of removing the tires.

    Please contact JRBF Chairman Andrew Shaw for more details or if you have any questions.


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      Palmyra Lock Cleanup – November 12, 2016

      Palmyra Lock on the Rivanna River - Before Cleanup - October 12, 2016. Photo By Brian Coffield

      Palmyra Lock on the Rivanna River – Before Cleanup – October 12, 2016.
      Photo By Brian Coffield

      Palmyra Lock Cleanup
      November 12, 2016
      Begin at 9:00 am

      The lock is located behind the Fluvanna County Courthouse
      at 72 Main Street, Palmyra, Virginia.

      VC&NS past President, Mr. Brian Coffield, is planning a canal lock cleanup event at the Palmyra Lock on the Rivanna River. This is a great opportunity for members to be involved with an activity with the VC&NS by helping clean up this lock. Volunteers are needed and all help will be appreciated!
      If you would like to bring a weedeater and/or chain saw, that would be appreciated. The outside wall is accessible only to tree climbers and we would like the assistance of at least one professional tree climber to help us clear that wall.
      If there are any questions, please contact Brian Coffield 434-760-1183.


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        The Dismal Swamp Nobody Knows – New Publication from the VC&NS, 2016.

        The Dismal Swamp Nobody Knows

        The Virginia Canals & Navigations Society is proud to announce the publication of The Dismal Swamp Nobody Knows by William C. Hoffman and William Trout, III., Published by William Holt Messerly, Jr., 2016.

        This new book is 11 x 8 1/2 with staples on the 8 1/2″ dimension, 48 pages. The book has many original drawings and reproductions of original watercolor paintings by William C. Hoffman. Color on Glossy Stock. This book is beautiful. VC&NS members and others are very proud of this beautiful new book.

        This book was released in June, 2016 at the James River Batteau Festival in Lynchburg.  The price is $15 plus tax. VC&NS Members receive a 20% discount. This new book is available on the VC&NS online store . Wholesale orders for museums and bookstores can be placed by contacting for more information.

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          VCNS 2016 Annual Conference a great success Saturday Night in Lynchburg

          The VCNS annual conference in lynchburg continued Saturday night with dinner at the Depot Grill. The food and atmosphere was very good. After dinner everyone walked over to Amazement Square for the business meeting and desert.

          Amazement Square welcomed the VCNS and we held the meeting on the fourth floor. Gail Timberlake opened the meeting and made various announcements. Ralph Smith was awarded the lifetime achievement award with the actual award to be presented at the May 15th meeting of the JRBF in Scottsville since Gail wasn’t finished with it yet. Ralph was very appreciative of this award and thanked everyone.

          The election of Mike Neal to the position of Trustee (2016-2021) was voted on and passed. Mike takes Holt Messerly’s position that Holt served out his second term and he will continue working hard on publications and the website etc.

          After the meeting, a fine selection of cake was available and was very delicious.

          The many exhibits about the batteaux and other boats and canals were very awesome. Terry Zimmerman had fun trying to figure out the canal lock display controls.

          Later there was music with Gail’s friend Rhonda Baker, Lady’s Slipper crew member, playing guitar and singing. Rhonda wrote the Ballad of Dewey Wood.  When Gail and Tom Moore joined in and sang the song in memory of Dewey Wood it was very special and was so nice to hear. Then Tom Moore and his friend John Davies played and sang a few songs.

          The 2016 Annual Conference came to a quiet end in Lynchburg. Some people then camped at Lee’s Landing and enjoyed the campfire into the night.

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            VCNS 2016 Conference – Saturday – Canal Sites tour with Dr. Bill Trout

            The VCNS conference continued on Saturday morning with a tour of canal sites led by Dr. Bill Trout. We started off in downtown Lynchburg at the bottom of 9th St. Bill showed a model of the area to point out the way the canal went under the archway  and the way the railroad tracks went etc.

            We traveled to a couple more sites on the way to the BWXT site off Mt. Athos Road just up-river from the Joshua Falls boat landing. We were met by Mr. Christopher M. Dumond,  Communications Specialist, BWX Technologies, Inc. Chris spoke to our group about the history of BWXT.  Tom Moore won the prize for the trivia question which was a nice mug. Bill Trout showed the long double set of locks that led into the James River. Work needs to be done sometime in the future to clear the locks of trees/brush etc. Gail Timberlake suggested that we get together and have a cleanup of the site sometime. She also gave Christopher a set of  three of her children’s batteau books series.

            We continued back up to a couple more sites along Mt. Athos Road and one more site beside US. 460 before departing for the morning. The JRBF Swiftwater safety class was going on at the same time as our tour. See Photos of safety class – click here.

            The VCNS Annual Conference continued at the Depot Grill in Lynchburg where the annual business meeting was held.

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              VCNS 2016 Annual Conference off to great start at Batteau House!

              The 2016 annual conference for the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society kicked off on Friday April 22, 2016 at “Batteau House”, which is the new home for the VCNS.

              Dr. Bill Trout was showing off some of the many many artifacts, batteau and canal things on display all over the house.

              Gail Timberlake, VCNS President, made introductions before Holt Messerly presented a slideshow for the year in review. Before the main slideshow Holt showed a few shorter sections of photos as a preview. The slides of the Clifton Lee Batteau out of control were especially popular with the group! Who could resist wanting to watch Lisa B. hit a rock at 7-islands and see the look on her face!

              The food was great and everyone had a good time.

              Saturday, JRBF members will attend a safety class  by the river and some VCNS members are going on a road tour of some canal sites in Lynchburg, led by Dr Bill Trout.

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                Swiftwater Rescue Class to be held during the VC&NS Annual Conference Weekend, April, 23, 2016.

                On Saturday April 23, 2016 The James River Batteau Festival will be represented by Chairman Andrew Shaw. A Swiftwater Rescue Class will be held near Lynchburg, VA led by Andrew and others. Many Batteau groups will be attending for hands on safety training by/in the river. Be sure to get a wetsuit that fits or other appropriate cold-water personal protection and bring a pfd just in case. (Life Jacket).

                The class will be held at Lee’s Landing. This property is a beautiful section of river front on the Madison Heights side of Lynchburg, just below the Training Center. The Lee family has been most generous over the years allowing batteau crews to launch boats from the beach. Click here for directions to Lee’s Landing.

                VC&NS conference attendees can watch this event or go on a local tour of canal sites with Dr. Bill Trout. Bill and several others are putting together this alternate tour which is to start at Joshua Falls Boat Ramp and go up-river along Mt. Atho’s Road and then possible lunch at Moore’s Country Store and then back to Lynchburg.

                Also don’t forget the original plan for touring Lynchburg Museums and the Point of Honor. Many VC&NS conference attendees will be doing that during the day on Saturday.

                Saturday night will be the banquet dinner. See the VC&NS Conference application form for details. Please let’s all register for the VC&NS Conference even if you are just coming for the white water safety class. The class is free but helping the VC&NS is helping the JRBF too so please make plans to register.

                Directions  to Lee’s Landing is in pdf form – click here to download map.

                Let’s plan on good day.

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