Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Once Promising Canal Becomes a Raceway
Extracting gold by crushing quartz required heavy equipment and proved expensive. When the California gold strikes in 1849 drew mining companies to the West, Virginia mining declined. The canal system had been extended 50 miles upriver, but insufficient revenues forced it to close in 1853. The Fredericksburg Water Power Company constructed a dam across the river and turned this part of the system into a raceway. The new millrace supported several local industries.
In 1849, the U.S. Mint received $129,382 in Virginia gold, while receiving $5.5 million in California gold.
When the Fredericksburg Water Power Company constructed a dam across the Rappahannock River, it included a canal lock at the dam, to allow continued navigation to the upriver reaches.
Early plans for a canal were developed by Laomi Baldwin,
Erected by Fredericksburg Timeless.
Location. 38° 19.004′ N, 77° 29.178′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Fall Hill Avenue (Virginia Route 639) and Tyler Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located along the Rappahannock Canal Path. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3219 Fall Hill Ave, Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Defenses in December 1862 (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate and Federal Defenses in May 1863 (within shouting distance of this marker); Rappahannock River Heritage Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrial Interlude (approx. 0.3 miles away); Embrey Dam (approx. 0.3 miles away); Falls of the Rappahannock River (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Rappahannock River Runs Free Once More (approx. 0.3 miles away); Amoroleck Encounters John Smith (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Also see . . . Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location titled “A Navigation Canal Becomes a Raceway” (Submitted on June 21, 2016.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 20, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 143 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 20, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.