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  holt@vacanals.org 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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