2018 James River Transportation Festival, by Brian Coffield

Batteau, James River & Kanawha Canal, James River Transportation Festival
On July 21, 2018, the VC&NS participated in the 7th annual James River Transportation Festival on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This festival, which began in 2012, was conceived of by Peter Hamel, who is the Ridge District interpreter for the Blue Ridge Parkway.  His goal is to bring attention to the James River Visitors Center and increase awareness of historical modes of navigation in the area. Participants this year included Brian Coffield, Bill Trout, Philip de Vos, Roger Nelson and Randy Waycaster. [caption id="attachment_15225" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The Batteau Slate River at the 2018 James River Transportation Festival.[/caption] Randy brought the batteau Slate River, which is the centerpiece of the festival, as he has done for the past six years,   The batteau sits in the James River within 100 feet from…
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VCNS 2016 Conference – Saturday – Canal Sites tour with Dr. Bill Trout

James River & Kanawha Canal, VC&NS Annual Business Meeting, VC&NS Program & Displays
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…
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Swiftwater Rescue Class to be held during the VC&NS Annual Conference Weekend, April, 23, 2016.

Batteau, James River & Kanawha Canal, VC&NS Annual Business Meeting
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…
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Inland Waterways International supports canal in Richmond

Canal in Danger, James River & Kanawha Canal, Richmond, Richmond, Save our Canal!, Virginia
To all those interested in the future of Richmond’s historic canal: The attached letter is from Mr. D.J. Ballinger, president of the international canal organization Inland Waterways International, containing a resolution of support for the preservation and wise use of the remains of the James River & Kanawha Canal in Richmond. Originally known as the James River Canal, it was the first operating canal system with locks in America. It first opened in 1789 and was completed into the Great Basin in 1800. The canal company elected George Washington as its honorary president and gave him a grand tour in 1791. Today, much of the canal is still intact in Richmond. The resolution was passed at the annual World Canals Conference, held this year in Yangzhou, China, on China’s Grand…
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Richmond’s History along the canal also had a narrow gauge railroad.

Canal in Danger, James River & Kanawha Canal, Narrow Gauge Railroad, Richmond, Richmond, Save our Canal!, Virginia
Another aspect of the historical significance of the site of Venture Richmond's proposed amphitheater is the narrow gauge railroad tracks that are on the towpath of the south bank of the canal.  This railroad track probably connected Tredegar Iron Works with the iron works on Belle Isle.  The stone pillars and one section of trestle for this railroad line still survive in the James River.  Since this the site of the proposed amphitheater was formerly part of the Tredegar Iron Works grounds, it is very likely that these railroad tracks were actually manufactured at Tredegar Iron Works, and they may be among the few surviving tracks made at this foundry. These railroad tracks would have to be the first thing removed if the south bank of the canal were sliced…
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