James River & Kanawha Canal

Gwynn Lock Cleanup

One of the activities of the canal society that benefit Virginia’s historic resources is cleaning up overgrown locks. On March 12, 2022, a group of volunteers met to take on Gwynn Lock near Eagle Rock, VA. This cleanup was scheduled and rescheduled several times due to weather, so Andrew Shaw, who was leading the effort,…

Crossing of the Dan

Crossing of the Dan

The crossing of the Dan River is an annual event held each February in South Boston, Virginia to commemorate the1781 crossing by General Nathanial Green and his army to get away from the British army. They succeeded in getting across by using two ferries and many batteaux which were then secured on the North side…

James River

Hatton Ferry Donation

On February 8, a small group of people gathered in the courtyard of the Charlottesville Albemarle Historical Society to acknowledge the donation of $25,000.00 to the Hatton Ferry fund. John and Trula Wright made the donation to help get the ferry operating again, which is a project of the historical society. Both of the Wrights…

Batteau House

Altavista Batteau Fragment

In 1999, a 36-foot long batteau fragment was found in the Staunton River at the site of Altavista’s old batteau landing. After it was recovered, the fragment was treated with polyvinyl acetate to preserve it and it was stored at the Avoca museum in Altavista. It was not put on display, as the 36-foot length…

Canal Basin Dig Artifacts

A New Home For Number One

Written by Rachel Mahoney and edited by Bill Trout The frayed, rusty remains of a canal packet boat that provide the ghost of a glimpse of Virginia’s historic canal system now sit on display at its own exhibit next to the canal society’s Batteau House – a sight better than the muddy burial grounds it…

VC&NS Program & Displays

Rassawek Fall Festival

Bill Trout and I attended the Fall Festival at Rassawek on October 23 and 24, to represent the VC&NS and educate the public about our mission as well as to solicit new members. The event was very well advertised and over 5000 people came on the first day alone. Because we were located just inside…

Tiller

Storytellers Needed!

The Tiller magazine is a journal of what the canal society does, including special events we attend and accomplishments and milestones of our members. The James River Batteau Festival always provides us with opportunities to document great stories and we have one such story in hand that will be told in the upcoming Tiller. However,…

Batteau

River Management Society Symposium

The River Management Society is holding their annual symposium April 12-15, 2021. It will be all virtual — if you are interested, you can register here: https://www.river-management.org/symposium. Brian Coffield and Roger Nelson of the VC&NS will be featured in a video about the history of the batteau on the James River. **Update: Here is a…

James River

Amherst Reverse Holiday Parade

Laura Rann, the volunteer coordinator at the James River State Park, contacted me and asked if I would operate the sweep for the batteau Madison on an important adventure. As I’m not usually inclined to turn down a batteau trip, I said I’d love to help. It turned out that the adventure was to be…