“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chesapeake, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Herring (Heron) Ditch

Herring (Heron) Ditch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Hazelwood, April 3, 2011
1. Herring (Heron) Ditch Marker
Inscription. Herring Ditch was one of many ditches that connected with the Dismal Swamp Canal. Ditches were used to transport goods to the canal, allow access to swamp timber, and provide drainage. Walter Herron, a Dismal Swamp Canal Company stockholder, began the construction of Herring Ditch in the mid-1820s as a millrace that ran from the canal eastward three miles to present Shillelagh Road. It was later extended north to connect with the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River providing a link between the Dismal Swamp and the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canals. The ditch also later linked the Lindsay Canal to the Dismal Swamp Canal. The ditch's access to the Dismal Swamp Canal was closed by the 1920s, when U.S. Route 17 was constructed.
Erected 2003 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number WP 11.)
Location. 36° 40.875′ N, 76° 21.689′ W. Marker is in Chesapeake, Virginia. Marker is on Dismal Swamp Canal Trail 0.8 miles south of George Washington Highway (U.S. 17), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is located on what used to be old Rt 17. Marker is in this post office area: Chesapeake VA 23323, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dismal Swamp Canal (approx. 3.1 miles away); Village of Deep Creek (approx. 4.6 miles away); Justin Holland (approx. 4.9 miles away); Glencoe (approx. 5.3 miles away); North West Canal (approx. 5.4 miles away); Unknown and Known Afro-Union Civil War Soldiers Memorial (approx. 5.8 miles away); Norfolk County Almshouse (approx. 6.8 miles away); Liquid Highways (approx. 7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chesapeake.
More about this marker. Enter from the parking area at the entrance of the City of Chesapeake's Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Enter on foot, bicycle, or horseback.
Regarding Herring (Heron) Ditch. The marker refers to Walter Herron, a stockholder in the Dismal Swamp Canal company. His Grandson, Walter Herron Taylor, (b. June 13, 1838 - d. March 1, 1916) was a native of Norfolk, VA. He was a local banker, lawyer, soldier, politician, author, and railroad executive. During the War Between the States, he served as General Robert E. Lee's Aide-de-Camp. Today, the City of Norfolk has an elementary school named after him in Norfolk's West Ghent neighborhood.
Also see . . .  Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. City of Chesapeake, Virginia (Submitted on April 10, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
Additional keywords. Dismal Swamp Canal
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Larry Hazelwood of Chesapeake, Virginia. This page has been viewed 825 times since then and 88 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Larry Hazelwood of Chesapeake, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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