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Waterways & Vessels Topic
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
Assateague Light House Marker
Assateague Light House
Light House Board
Acts of Congress
June 20, 1860 and July 28, 1866 — — Map (db m98850) HM|
Boats and then bridges not only formed Chincoteague Island's lifelines to the mainland, they changed the island's way of life.
Beginning around 1881, after several years of irregular service by other boats, the steamboat Widgeon began . . . — — Map (db m165054) HM|
First oysters, then bay and sea clams buoyed Chincoteague's economy.
During the second half of the 19th century, Chincoteague's seafood industry relied on the oyster. Each year, from September to April, island watermen gathered Chincoteague's . . . — — Map (db m165063) HM|
Historically, Chincoteague's western waterfront provided the town with its front door.
Many watermen sailed from docks along Chincoteague Channel, "goin' down da Bay" to return with cargoes of oysters, bay clams, mussels, and terrapins.
For . . . — — Map (db m165058) HM|
Decoys carved by Chincoteague residents have evolved into a form of art that is highly respected and collected. But decoy carving itself originated in the long tradition of waterfowl hunting.
Ducks and geese have always been a part of life on . . . — — Map (db m165059) HM|
In 1890, fish made the Chincoteague news. Islanders caught so many fin fish that a reporter claimed the take was never so large, or the "fish so fine."
Fish became so plentiful in Chincoteague markets that a local islander wrote in 1922 that . . . — — Map (db m165060) HM|
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Assateague Island Lighthouse is a striking landmark that attracts many visitors. At the same time, it is an active aid to navigation, operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, that gives ships a . . . — — Map (db m98824) HM|
In the early 20th century, without street lights or lighted homes to use as reference points, ferry boats from the Delmarva mainland would run aground as they approached Chincoteague Island.
Especially on dark nights, the Watson family would . . . — — Map (db m165071) HM|
Hardy, compact, and spirited—the horses on Assateague Island run freely over a range bounded by ocean and bay. Bands of mares and young led by protective stallions graze on marsh grasses, drink at freshwater ponds, and retreat into island . . . — — Map (db m98826) HM|
In the 1800s, after the lighthouse was built, a small community grew up not far from here. By the early 1900s, about 225 lived in the village, which included a school, dry goods store, and a church. The residents harvested resources from the sea, . . . — — Map (db m98825) HM|
Storms continually reshape coastal islands and challenge resilience of residents. Chincoteague is no exception. A hurricane, the Great September Gust, "leaped upon the devoted island with a scream" in 1821. A blizzard in January 1922 rammed ice . . . — — Map (db m165049) HM|
As John Smith helped settle Jamestown, he admired the capabilities of the Native Americans' log canoes. Colonists adopted the log canoe and used iron tools to improve the design. Early canoes were made from a single log, but as the need arose for . . . — — Map (db m165105) HM|
|Known as the Scott Hall Cemetery, it dates from the late 18th century. Here will be found the grave of Commodore Whaley of the Maryland Navy who was killed in the Battle of the Barges in the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of Onancock Creek in . . . — — Map (db m7681) HM|
The Annie C, a five log canoe, is one of the largest canoes built on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Designed as a work boat, she was built in 1904, by Horace Bundick in the Town of Sanford. After fastening five logs together with iron . . . — — Map (db m165115) HM|
As originally build, the Annie C did not have an engine, although various engines were added in later years. As exhibited now, she was sail only and steered by a 7 foot tiller. This tiller was carved using traditional tools from a 10 inch by 4" . . . — — Map (db m165106) HM|
Only the largest log canoes had a cabin. This cabin had bunks and slept 3-4 persons. It had a small wood stove (installed later) for cooking and heat in the winter. A large portion of the cabin is taken up the centerboard truck and the mast . . . — — Map (db m165113) HM|
Looking at the port side of the Annie C you see "knees" every 16 to 18 inches. The original knees were made of cedar taken from the tree at limbs that formed the desired shape. The knees were fitted to the side of the boats and attached . . . — — Map (db m165111) HM|
Annie C has five logs. A center or Keel Log (24 inches wide and 4 inches thick), a port and starboard wind logs (about 20 inches wide), and a port and starboard garboard logs (about 19 inches wide) the thickness goes from about 4 inches at the . . . — — Map (db m165109) HM|
Before railways and highways, the waterways of the Eastern Shore of Virginia were the primary mode of transportation of people and goods. Thus, the Town of Onancock, founded in 1680, grew and flourished. Despite the move to rail and then . . . — — Map (db m165102) HM|
|The Civil Air Patrol, a civilian organization established during World War II, operated Coastal Patrol Base Four about one mile west of here at the Parksley airport. Volunteers constructed runways and hangars, converted a farmhouse and chicken coop . . . — — Map (db m165077) HM|
|At the south end of Main Ridge, the road becomes Banny's Road, which once led to Banty's Wharf. Banty's Wharf was named for Capt. John L. "Banty" who lived here with his wife, Mrs. Ellen Elizabeth Shores. For over 200 years the island's primary . . . — — Map (db m106987) HM|
|At the end of Chambers Lane in an area once known as Chambers Wharf, site of the John Chambers Store. Lorraine's Sandwich Shop now occupies the site of the first Post Office, built in 1891.
The homes at 4411 and 4413 Chambers Lane were moved . . . — — Map (db m107002) HM|
|This cemetery is the possible site of Lee’s Bethel, the island’s first church. Next to the cemetery is the last of the island’s once plentiful garden farms.
Tangiermen were famous for growing melons, filling their boats until just the gunnels . . . — — Map (db m97873) HM|
|Owner Milton Parks has provided warm hospitality to boaters for decades. His marina serves local watermen, commercial and recreational boat traffic.
Milton Parks on his scooter - Kaye, 2005
Oyster Buy Boats at Park's . . . — — Map (db m106963) HM|
|Mailboat Harbor replaced Steamboat Harbor in the 1930’s as the age of steamboats came to a close. The harbor was first dredged in 1922, from the Eastern side. In 1967, the harbor was dredged through to the Western side of the island. This was a . . . — — Map (db m39554) HM|
|The Double Six Sandwich Shop is where the watermen meet at 3:00 AM for "smokes and coffee" before heading down to the docks to the day's work.
Named for the game of Dominos, the shop is open for sandwiches year-round, and was often considered a . . . — — Map (db m39683) HM|
|The Emily Pruitt House was home to the island's sail-making seamstress, a critically important job before the invention of motorized boats. — — Map (db m106994) HM|
|Patrick Benson, a ship's captain from Dublin, Ireland, purchased this land in 1879. The middle section of house was completed in 1889. The front section with porch and back section with kitchen and outbuilding were added over the years, but . . . — — Map (db m106977) HM|
|Master carpenter James Dinsmore oversaw construction of this Ice House to Jefferson's design in 1802. Enslaved and hired workers filled it each year between November and February with ice cut from the nearby Rivanna River, shallow ponds, or snow . . . — — Map (db m68174) HM|
|This is a spring that was used by the Carr family when they lived here in 1870. The spring provided a source of clean drinking water and was also used as a storage location to keep perishable foods cool — — Map (db m170175) HM|
|Not far from the Tavern, the Michie family owned and operated a mill and general store. At the turn of the century the mill fell from decay. In order to recreate the Michie's Tavern-plantation (which stretched for several miles) Historic Michie . . . — — Map (db m53611) HM|
The Woolen Mills area of Charlottesville traces its roots back to the late 1700s. It was Thomas Jefferson who realized the Rivanna River's vitality was the key to economic growth in the area.
Originally a grist mill was started on this . . . — — Map (db m172975) HM|
| Ferries In Virginia
The James, York, Rappahannock and smaller rivers were the primary means of commercial transportation in Virginia until the advent of railroads in the mid-1800’s. In most locations ferries provided the only way to cross . . . — — Map (db m14527) HM|
|James A. Brown began operating a store and ferry at this site on rented property in the late 1870’s. In 1881 he bought the land from S. P. Gantt at which time the store became a stop on the Richmond and Alleghany Railroad. Two years later, Brown was . . . — — Map (db m12882) HM|
|Five miles southwest of here is the Hatton Ferry on the James River which began operating in the 1870s. James A. Brown established the ferry and a store on land first rented and then purchased from S.P. Gantt in 1881. In 1883 when a post office was . . . — — Map (db m88501) HM|
| History of Hatton Ferry.
The Hatton Ferry began operation in 1870, when Buckingham County authorities issued a court order to construct a public ferry across the James River to the Albemarle County lands of Thomas P. Gantt (ca. 1846-1896), a . . . — — Map (db m99392) HM|
|During World War I (1914-1918), the U.S. government targeted Jones Point as the site for a private shipyard, one of 111 built to aid the war effort. The Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation yard, constructed just before war's end, was designed to build . . . — — Map (db m127780) HM|
|Buried beneath this canal stone lies Lock #3 of the Alexandria Canal, which connected the Harbor of Alexandria with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown, D.C. between 1843 and 1886. After Crossing the Potomac on an aqueduct bridge near the . . . — — Map (db m80668) HM|
The Alexandria Canal officially opened on December 2, 1843. The seven-mile long canal extended from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown to Alexandria's ports on the Potomac River. Boats brought coal, limestone, iron ore, port and . . . — — Map (db m147123) HM|
|Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Battery Rodgers
Here stood Battery Rodgers, built in 1863 to prevent enemy ships from passing up the Potomac River. The battery had a perimeter of 30 yards and mounted five 200 pounder Parrott . . . — — Map (db m41413) HM|
This historic site is a section of the mill race that provided water power to Cloud's Mill which stood directly across Paxton street.
At the intersection of Beauregard and Morgan Streets, water diverted from the Holmes Run ran through the . . . — — Map (db m150801) HM|
|This house was built between 1784-1786 by Colonel Michael Swope, a Revolutionary War Battalion Commander, and his wife, Eva Kuhn Swope. Originally from York, PA, Colonel Swope was taken prisoner by the British at the beginning of the war and was . . . — — Map (db m149717) HM|
|This area, called "Cross Canal," was a neighborhood of black residents who settled across from the canal shortly after the Civil War. The canal, located just north of this marker, extended from the Potomac River to Washington Street, thence north to . . . — — Map (db m129476) HM|
The Potomac Yard site has historically been an intersection for transportation because of its location between Washington D.C. and Alexandria and the availability of open, level land near the river. Even before Potomac Yard was built, the . . . — — Map (db m115667) HM|
|During the 17th century, settlers began to establish small plantations near landing places on the Potomac River. Oceangoing ships could load tobacco and other goods to export to Great Britain. The area that was to become Alexandria was still . . . — — Map (db m127772) HM|
|Alexandria's electric streetcar system, the Washington, Alexandria & Mount Vernon Railway, was established in 1892 between Alexandria and Mount Vernon. In 1896, the line extended into Washington, crossing the Long Bridge where the 14th Street Bridge . . . — — Map (db m115760) HM|
With Alexandria under British control in August 1814, top-ranking U.S. military men gathered at this high point above the city. President Madison conferred with Secretary of the Navy William Jones, Brigadier General John Hungerford, and U.S. Navy . . . — — Map (db m81243) HM|
This forest has long been a natural playground for children growing up in the area. The woods around the village extended to Quaker Lane and janney's Lane. During World War II, when the Chinquapin Village children took a break from playing ball . . . — — Map (db m150814) HM|
|Alexandria was named for the family of John Alexander, a Virginia planter who in 1669 acquired the tract on which the town began. By 1732, the site was known as Hunting Creek Warehouse and in 1749 became Alexandria, thereafter a major 18th-century . . . — — Map (db m47) HM|
Four Mile Run and the course of its namesake waterway have changed dramatically over the centuries, partly due to natural events and partly to modern human engineering. Although a setting for a rich abundance of plant and animal . . . — — Map (db m130987) HM|
All stories should end with accumulating snow.
Increasing depth racing the concluding plot
Erasing the physical details of the recent narrative
Leaving only softened shapes and relative positions
And as the end obliterating even . . . — — Map (db m143372) HM|
Numerous creeks, such as Taylor Run, crisscross Alexandria's landscape. Each creek is an important part of the ecology of the woodland through which it flows, providing habitat for small fish, amphibians and aquatic invertebrates. Creeks also . . . — — Map (db m150811) HM|
|The concrete foundations you see here were part of a craneway servicing two shipways and launch sites -- elements of an enormous World War I-era shipyard. To speed delivery of cargo ships needed for the war effort, the Virginia Shipbuilding . . . — — Map (db m62323) HM|
Phoenix Mill is the last surviving remnant of Alexandria's once thriving milling industry. William Hartshorne built the four-story mill in 1801. The mill was built at a time when Northern Virginia's economy shifted from tobacco to grain . . . — — Map (db m133936) HM|
|Pioneer Mill once stood at the end of Duke Street. The photograph shows the many wharves that occupied the blocks where buildings and parks now stand. Warehouses lined the Waterfront interspersed with processing plants for flour and fertilizer, . . . — — Map (db m115774) HM|
|On August 29, 1814, Alexandria surrendered to the British forces. These terms of surrender protected American homes but gave the enemy flour, cotton, tobacco, and other goods as well as military supplies and weapons. On September 3, the . . . — — Map (db m143268) HM|
|Historically, Alexandria's development moved from east to west, and three distinct areas of the city have unofficially been known as the "West End." The first West End ended at Shuter's Hill, the current site of the George Washington Masonic . . . — — Map (db m115709) HM|
|George Washington lived in and traveled from this region, pursuing his dream of westward expansion—to connect the Atlantic Seaboard with the frontier West. His efforts to use the Potomac River as a commercial artery influenced . . . — — Map (db m127767) HM|
English settlers built several plantations on the site in the 18th century. The land, much owned by the Swann and Daingerfield families, became part of Alexandria County, D.C. with the creation of the District of Columbia in 1791, and retroceded . . . — — Map (db m115145) HM|
|In the early 1800s Alexandria was part of the District of Columbia and an important port with its own militia. In summer 1814, though, Alexandria’s militia had been sent to defend Maryland from the British invasion. So on August 28, four days after . . . — — Map (db m81226) HM|
|These stones are remnants of Lock #4 of the Alexandria Canal which once occupied this site. Completed in 1843, the canal linked the Alexandria waterfront with the C & O Canal in Georgetown. — — Map (db m131390) HM|
|Potomac River ferry companies date back to as early as 1740, when Hugo West received permission to operate a ferry from the Hunting Creek warehouse in Prince William over the Potomac River to Fraziers Point in Maryland "...the price for a man 1 . . . — — Map (db m143267) HM|
John Hunter established one of the first shipyards in the City at the foot of Wilkes Street as early at 1783. The first "Potomac River Longboat" was built here at Hunters Shipyard in 1815. Shipbuilding and repair continued on this site for well . . . — — Map (db m143370) HM|
Gato Class WWII Fleet Submarine
Conducted nine war patrols in the Pacific.
Awarded four Battle Stars
Commissioned March 17, 1943
De-commissioned April 1, 1960 — — Map (db m115779) HM|
|The Alexandria Marine Railway Company was founded in 1849 at the site of the former Keith's Wharf. Until the Depression of 1857, the firm refitted and repaired the sailing craft that plied the harbors of Alexandria, Georgetown and Washington. The . . . — — Map (db m127769) HM|
With the outbreak of war in the spring of 1861, Alexandria was immediately occupied by Federal troops as a bulwark in the defenses of the national capital, and the city became a central distribution center for men and material for the Army of the . . . — — Map (db m70411) HM WM|
|In 1860, Alexandria was a vibrant southern city boasting a population of 12,652 and 96 firms which produced everything from bark to tin-ware. During the U.S. Presidential campaign in the fall of 1860, business-minded Alexandrians were decidedly . . . — — Map (db m115781) HM|
The West End in the 19th century centered on Duke Street and Diagonal Road. Large undeveloped, the area was devoted to stockyards, agricultural shipment, and "a" notorious business: the slave trade. The house at 1707 Duke Street (left) was part . . . — — Map (db m151028) HM|
In the 1850's, Alexandria was one of the busiest seaports in the Chesapeake region. To help guide Potomac River ship traffic, the federal government built the Jones Point lighthouse, illuminating the beacon for the first time on May 1, 1856. It . . . — — Map (db m60242) HM|
|Three hundred years ago, a river as wide as the Capital Beltway—Great Hunting Creek—emptied into the Potomac River at this spot. In the absence of good roads, this river and its tributaries were vital corridors for travel and trade. . . . — — Map (db m62000) HM|
|From this point, King Street slopes gently down to the Potomac. But when Alexandria was founded in 1749, the new town was perched on a high bluff some 20 feet above the river. The town was established on a shore of a crescent-shaped bay that . . . — — Map (db m115766) HM|
"Mr. A.C. made a daily visit to the spring, and attributed much of his usual good health to the Spa" (Alexandria Gazette 1862).
Mineral springs are popular places to visit and Alexandria's Spa Spring was no exception. . . . — — Map (db m147121) HM|
|This tide lock of the Alexandria Canal was one of four lock that together lowered boats about 38 feet to the Potomac River and raised them for their return trip. The remains of the other locks are now buried under modern construction.
This . . . — — Map (db m129199) HM|
When Native Americans moved into the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States they traveled on the waterways created overland routes for hunting, migration, and trade. In essence, they were Virginia's first highways. These routes often followed . . . — — Map (db m115675) HM|
|Few periods of Alexandria's history have been more tumultuous than the War of 1812. During the first decade of the 19th century, Great Britain's interception of American ships, impressment of U.S. seamen, and support of Indian aggression along the . . . — — Map (db m115769) HM|
The Alexandria waterfront reflects the perpetual relationship between people and the Potomac River. The Old Town shore documents a history rich in individual and collective maritime, commercial, and cultural concerns. Waterfront . . . — — Map (db m81244) HM|
|According to Lord Baltimore's land grant from King Charles I in 1632, Maryland owns the "River of Pattowmack...unto the further Bank of said River." But with Virginia's shoreline constantly shifting how could the border be fixed? In 1929, a survey . . . — — Map (db m60179) HM|
The Wilkes Street Tunnel was part of the eastern division of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, founded in 1848 to promote trade with western Virginia. The Orange & Alexandria inaugurated its track in Alexandria on May 7, 1851 with a run from the . . . — — Map (db m143378) HM|
|In May 2000, this rudder was recovered along the banks of the Potomac River near Jones Point. Measuring over 22 feet high and 4.5 feet wide, the rudder is of the variety used to outfit steel cargo ships constructed between 1918 and 1920 at the . . . — — Map (db m61952) HM|
|Near here lived Anthony and Benjamin Rucker,
inventors of the James River batteau, which
superseded the double dugout canoe and rolling
road for transporting tobacco hogsheads. These
long (about 50 or 60 feet), double-ended vessels
dominated . . . — — Map (db m46342) HM|
| A Lock Canal
When a river was too swift or shallow for navigation, shippers used canals with lift locks. The canals paralleled the river, using it as a water source.
(not to scale) river surface, canal and lock sites. . . . — — Map (db m137538) HM|
|This lift lock, built in 1848, is 15 feet wide, 21 feet deep top to bottom, and 100 feet between gates. It lowered or lifted boats 13 feet allowing them passage to and from the river. The bottom is covered with original pine planking and walls are . . . — — Map (db m137528) HM|
|Canal Water was obtained from a dam on the James River six miles upstream. Battery Creek (under the present railroad bridge) did not flow into the canal as is does today. Since it is now the only water source for the restored lock, the water level . . . — — Map (db m137536) HM|
|These handles open or closed sluice gates which admitted water to lock.
When water level was equalled on both sides of gates they were opened by pushing on lever arms.
Gates closed at an angle pointing upstream so water pressure sealed . . . — — Map (db m137539) HM|
|The James River flows through the mountains at this location, creating a water gap in the Blue Ridge. This type of formation is characteristic of Appalachian geography. The Blue Ridge forms the eastern wall of the Appalachian Mountain system from . . . — — Map (db m161498) HM|
Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, a nature preserve that hosts many species of migratory birds, included a designed recreational road pull-off parking area intended as a feature of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, the original portion of the . . . — — Map (db m156767) HM|
| Four Mile Run winds through local history–and has been dramatically altered by human impacts.
1. For the region's first inhabitants, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries provided transportation and an annual harvest of migratory . . . — — Map (db m151025) HM|
| [Left panel:]
Four Mile Run and Flooding
The population of the neighborhoods near Four Mile Run grew extensively in the 1940s and 1950s, following World War II. Many new buildings and roads were constructed covering more . . . — — Map (db m147126) HM|
|Glenmore was built c.1906 as a summer and weekend retreat for the William F. Roberts family. It was designed by Washington, D.C. architect Appleton P. Clark. The original log construction and wood shingles have since been covered with stucco. The . . . — — Map (db m134966) HM|
|This wall is a reminder of racial segregation in the historically African American community of Hall's Hill. During construction of the Woodlawn Village subdivision in the 1930s, a wall of various materials and heights was built here to separate . . . — — Map (db m157671) HM|
|This home incorporates the original log house built about 1800 by William Carlin. It is one of the earliest structures remaining in Arlington. At one time, Carlin had been a tailor in Alexandria whose clients included George Washington. Mr. Carlin’s . . . — — Map (db m56352) HM|
|The United States Battleship MAINE exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, Cuba on February 15, 1898. The rallying cry, "Remember the MAINE" swept the nation, inciting public opinion and precipitating the Spanish-American War. In March, . . . — — Map (db m10977) HM|
|The Clarendon Elementary School was built in 1910 to serve the growing Clarendon neighborhood. The two-story symmetrical building was designed with a central hall and four classrooms on each floor. The school was renamed in 1925 to honor Matthew . . . — — Map (db m49434) HM|
|Virginians voted overwhelmingly for secession form the Union on May 23, 1861. Overnight, Union Army troops stationed in Washington, D.C., moved to occupy what is now Arlington County. The main body of the troops crossed the Potomac River via the . . . — — Map (db m134982) HM|
| Near this point the Alexandria Canal crossed Four Mile Run, connecting Alexandria docks and railyards to Georgetown and western Maryland from 1843 to 1886. To the east were the turnpike and railroad. In 1896 the Washington, Alexandria and Mount . . . — — Map (db m22469) HM|
"Before us is the broad and beautiful river, separating two of the original thirteen States, which a late President [Andrew Jackson]... desired to span with arches of ever-enduring granite, symbolical of the firmly established union of the . . . — — Map (db m142186) HM|
| Rendering of organizational insignia 1942 · We Led The Way · 1945 In memory of our fallen comrades who sacrified their lives in the service of their country while serving in the United States Navy and Army Amphibious Scouts and Raiders . . . — — Map (db m15183) HM|
|On May 24, 1861, Union troops crossed the Potomac River into Virgina and occupied the Arlington Estate. Officers lived in the house while hundreds of soldiers camped on the grounds. The Army crisscrossed the estate with roads and telegraph lines, . . . — — Map (db m70729) HM|
| Original marker: The officers and crew attached to the U. S. Steamer Lancaster, Flag Officer J. B. Montgomery, on her first cruise in these seas, erect this monument in memory of shipmates who died and are buried here.
Bronze . . . — — Map (db m100123) WM|
These trees are dedicated to the men and women serving their country on the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii on December 7th, 1941
Remember Pearl Harbor — — Map (db m137208) WM|
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