Surry in Surry County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James
Chippokes Plantation State Park
— James River beach —
Percy also admired the man’s demeanor: “he entertained us in so modest a proud fashion, as though he had beene a Prince of civill government, holding his countenance without laughter or any such ill behaviour.” It is possible that this chief was the same Chippoke who befriended the colonists and according to Smith, “did always at our greatest need supply us with victuals of sorts, which he did notwithstanding the continual wars which we had
Shells as Thick as Stones
Fossils in the sandy cliffs at Chippokes Plantation reveal that shellfish have thrived in the Chesapeake Bay for millions of years. For Algonquians living along the lower James River, oysters and mussels were high-protein dietary staple. Virginia Indians also crafted jewelry of pearls and made razors from oyster shells. George Percy recalled that when exploring the Elizabeth River on April 28, 1607, “We got good store of Mussels and Oysters, which lay on the ground as thicke as stones: wee opened some, and found in many of them Pearles.” The once abundant oyster reefs not only supply food but also contribute to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. By filtering sediment from water, oysters improve the habitat for underwater grasses and fish.
Capt. John Smith’s Trail
John Smith knew the James River by its Algonquian name: Powhatan, the same as the region’s paramount chief. Smith traveled the river many times between 1607 and 1609, trading with Virginia Indians to ensure survival at Jamestown. What he saw of Virginia’s verdant woodlands and pristine waters inspired him to explore the greater Chesapeake Bay, chronicling its natural wonders.
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 30.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Exploration • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is May 5, 1607.
Location. 37° 8.765′ N, 76° 44.304′ W. Marker is in Surry, Virginia, in Surry County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Chippokes Park Road (Virginia Route 665) and Plantation Road (Virginia Route 783), on the left when traveling north. The marker is located in Chippokes Plantation State Park near the Farm Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry VA 23883, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Working the Land (here, next to this marker); Quiyoughcohannock Indians (approx. 2˝ miles away); Hog Island (approx. 2.8 miles away); Bacon’s Castle (approx. 2.9 miles away); Jamestown Ferry (approx. 3.7 miles away); Lawne’s Creek Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); Virginia’s VintageBowl, Pot, and Pipe (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Surry.
Also see . . .
1. Captain John Smith’s Trail. (Submitted on September 27, 2016.)
2. Chippokes Plantation State Park. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (Submitted on September 27, 2016.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 27, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 27, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.