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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Port Republic in Rockingham County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Point

“The Point” marks Shenandoah River’s birth

 
 
The Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, September 11, 2015
1. The Point Marker
Inscription. Straight ahead is "The Point“ where the North River (Ieft) and the South River (right) meet to form the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Imagine a day in the early 1800s when the river depth was right for traffic. A flotilla of flat-bottomed boats, called gundalows, waited to set off down-river for Harpers Ferry. On the captain’s signal, eight-foot-long tin horns signaled the departure. Usually, a boat was crewed by four pole-men and a man each to the front and rear rudders. At Harpers Ferry, boats were dismantled and the lumber used for buildings. The boatmen, paid as much as $18 for the two or three day trip down-river, returned home on foot.

Gundalow construction took place on both sides of the river here. A gundalow, typically 60 to feet long and 9½ feet wide, could be built for as little as $6 or as much as $600. A variety of goods, including wooden scantling, whiskey, tanned leather, grains, pig iron, copper, manganese, and even herds of turkeys, were hauled in by wagon and stockpiled on The Point awaiting transportation.

During the Civil War when bridges and roads were at times impassable, the river traffic continued to deliver sorely needed goods to Confederates downstream. In late spring, 1864, Union general David Hunter's forces destroyed most of Port Republic industry, an
The Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, September 11, 2015
2. The Point Marker
act which was a major factor in the decline of river traffic which had flourished for most of the century. The last gundalow departed in 1878.

From the street’s dead-end at North River, evidence of former bridges and an old dam just upstream can be seen. At the dead-end at South River, the lower ford’s site, the bed of one of the two millraces that paralleled South River is visible.

(caption)
Hauling goods down Water Street.

Sign courtesy of the Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc. in cooperation with Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District Commission. Installation by Port Republic Ruritan Club.
 
Erected by The Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc.
 
Location. 38° 17.766′ N, 78° 48.581′ W. Marker is in Port Republic, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of The Point Street and Water Street, on the right when traveling north on The Point Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Republic VA 24471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. North River Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Frank Kemper House (about 400 feet away but has been reported missing); Palmer Lot at Middle Ford (approx. ¼ mile away); Port Republic Foundry (approx. half a mile away); Madison Hall (approx. 0.6 miles away); Port Republic Battlefield (approx. 1.4 miles away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Port Republic Battlefield (approx. 2.3 miles away); Port Republic (approx. 2.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Port Republic.
 
Also see . . .  Port Republic Museum. The Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc. (Submitted on September 13, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 195 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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