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Lectures highlighting James River history feature walking tour and cleanup

James River Generic
Posted at 3:28 PM, Apr 05, 2023

From a news release from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources:

RICHMOND, Va. -- Have you ever driven over one of Richmond’s bridges, or stood on the banks of the James, and wondered why the city is situated on whitewater? What are all those foundations at Belle Isle? What did all those dams in the river supply? What fish lurk in the rapids? Now is your chance to find out!

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) is holding two public talks— each one to be followed by a walking tour and cleanup event near the James River—
at the end of this month and at the start of May. The talks will cover topics including Richmond’s port at Rocketts Landing, the shad fish’s role in the James, shipbuilding in the city, the James River and Kanawha Canal Historic District, and the planned mega-port in the city’s Manchester neighborhood.

Space at all venueswill be limited, so guests are highly encouraged to arrive as early as possible to ensure their participation in these events. The events are free and open to allmembers of the public.

The first presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in the DHR Collections Room, located at 2801 Kensington Avenue in Richmond.

DHR’s State Underwater Archaeologist Brendan Burke will lead a discussion on the cultural history of the James River and its effects on the development of Richmond’s communities. This presentation will focus on the James River and Kanawha Canal and the associated industries anchored by the canal and the river. Attendees at the presentation will then be given an opportunity to sign up for a guided walking tour and cleanup event on Belle Isle, planned for Saturday, April 29. More details about
the tour will be available immediately following the presentation.

DHR will hold a second presentation on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, located on 236 South Laurel Street in Richmond’s Oregon Hill neighborhood.

Jill Schuler, DHR’s Assistant Underwater Archaeologist, will lead a discussion about the cultural history of Richmond as a port. The talk will be centered around Richmond’s maritime landscape below the Fall Line and highlight the events and places that have influenced the founding and growth of the city. Attendees at this presentation will be given details and a chance to sign up for a guided walking tour and cleanup, scheduled for Saturday, May 6, at Ancarrow’s Landing in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood.