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

Why Build a Canal Here?

The Waterways

 
 
Why Build a Canal Here? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
1. Why Build a Canal Here? Marker
Inscription. A Safer, Faster Route was Needed

Prior to the Revolutionary War, the most direct routes to transport goods to Norfolk and points north from North Carolina were, either the very slow overland route through the village of Great Bridge, or the very dangerous ocean route through “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” around Cape Hatteras.

Transporting goods was expensive; before the canal, a farmer could spend a third of the value of his crop getting it to market.

A Revolutionary Interruption

A canal for this area was proposed as early as 1728. By 1772, the canal survey was completed. The revolutionary events of 1775—1776, which included the Battle of Great Bridge, interrupted further development. Eighty-three years would pass before the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal was realized.
 
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
 
Location. 36° 43.419′ N, 76° 14.812′ W. Marker is in Chesapeake, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Locks Road 0.6 miles from North Battlefield Boulevard (Virginia Route 168), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Located in Great Bridge Lock Park. Marker is in this post office area: Chesapeake VA 23320, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Great Bridge Lock Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
2. Great Bridge Lock Markers
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. What is a Lock? (here, next to this marker); The Iron Titans Tame the Marsh? (here, next to this marker); Liquid Highways (here, next to this marker); Bridging the Past with the Present (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Great Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome (within shouting distance of this marker); Village of Great Bridge (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Under Two Flags (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chesapeake.
 
More about this marker. On the upper right is a photo of the "Tanker “Paraguay,” stuck on top of the old wreck, the “Urma,” on the beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Before the canal, goods were often taken by sea up the coast from North Carolina to Virginia…weather and coastal conditions often made for treacherous voyages."
 
Also see . . .
1. Great Bridge Lock Park - Chesapeake, VA. Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Great Bridge Lock Park. City of Chesapeake (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

3. Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Historic District (pdf file). National Register of Historic Places (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US RevolutionaryWaterways & Vessels
 
Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Observation Platform image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
3. Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Observation Platform
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 550 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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