Near Varina in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James
Advice of the Natives was no doubt helpful to the English when navigating a succession of oxbows in the river below modern Richmond. Laced with creeks and cloaked in marsh, some of the low peninsulas become islands at high tide. Modern river travelers follow a more direct course through man-made channels.
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.
Osborne Boat Landing is across the river from the historic village of
Peter Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s father, was born here in 1708 and later married at this little settlement. Unfortunately, Osborne was deemed unsuitable for farming, so the House of Burgesses approved the motion that the land be sold in 1761. The site was divided into 120 lots, but the project was largely unsuccessful.
In 1781, during the Revolutionary War, British troops under Benedict Arnold burned the town and engaged American vessels in a fierce battle just offshore.
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 8.)
Location. 37° 24.075′ N, 77° 23.19′ W. Marker is near Varina, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker can be reached from Osborne Turnpike 0.3 miles north of Kingsland Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. This marker is located on the river bank at Osborne Park & Boat Landing. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9680 Osborne Turnpike, Henrico VA 23231, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers Naval Assault at Drewry’s Bluff (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Osborne Landing (here, next to this marker); Curvy Course (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Hoke: Empty Victory (approx. 1.2 miles away); Guns of Fort Brady (approx. 1½ miles away); Powder Magazine (approx. 1½ miles away); a different marker also named Powder Magazine (approx. 1½ miles away); Guarding the James (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Varina.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a depiction of the exploration of the James River by English colonist. The photo carries the caption, "“The New World” © MMV, New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Photo by Merie Wallace. Photo appears courtesy of New Line Productions, Inc."
On the upper center is a sketch of an English shore party with the caption, "Drawing by Marc Castelli E.W. Haile’s book Where None Hath Stood Before. © 2006”
On the upper right is a map of Captain John Smith's Trail with the caption, "Capt. John Smith’s Trail on the James is a 40-site water trail and auto tour for modern explorers."
On the right of the sidebar is an "Excerpt of “A New and Acurate Map of Virginia,”
Also see . . . Captain John Smith’s Trail. (Submitted on February 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Exploration • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,087 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 5. submitted on November 25, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.