Eden in Rockingham County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
“River boat Men: Dan River, 1792 – 1892”
The mural of the river boatmen is a tribute to the men who were responsible for the economic development of the vast interior region along the Dan River. The most prominent figures in the mural, the African American boatmen in the foreground, reflect dignity and the communityís respect for them. The little known role of these boatmen is honored by this mural, which proclaims their important legacy to the community.
Throughout the nineteenth century in an era of poor roads, goods were transported by the bateaux until the arrival of railroads. Prior to the Civil War the batteaumen were primarily enslaved and free blacks and some whites. There is evidence of some boats being crewed entirely by slaves, including the captain. Regardless of their personal status, boatmen were respected for their boat building expertise and especially for their skills as pilots on the river. The figure in the mural with his hand on the sweep (tiller) is the batteau captain and pilot, responsible for the safe arrival of the boatís crew and cargo.
After the Civil War, batteaumen were the regionís most important black entrepreneurs, continuing their dominance as builders, captains, and crewmen of the vessels, and becoming the owners as well. By 1870 there were some 200 batteaux on the river. The boatmen lived mostly in the river ports of Madison,
Rockingham County Historian
Location. 36° 29.402′ N, 79° 45.86′ W. Marker is in Eden, North Carolina, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Street and Henry Street, on the right when traveling east on Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Eden NC 27289, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. “Land of Eden” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Annie Eliza Johns (approx. ľ mile away); Leaksville Landing (approx. ľ mile away); Dan River (approx. 0.3 miles away); Luther H. Hodges (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named “Land of Eden” (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Land of Eden (approx. 0.6 miles away); Leaksville Cotton Mill (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eden.
Categories. • African Americans • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 6, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 296 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 6, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.