James River

The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia that begins in the Appalachian Mountains and flows 348 miles (560 km)[3] to Chesapeake Bay. The river length extends to 444 miles (715 km) if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries.[3] It is the longest river in Virginia and the 12th longest river in the United States that remains entirely within a single state. Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia’s first colonial capitals, and Richmond, Virginia's current capital, lie on the James River.

James River
James River at the crossing of the Blue Ridge Parkway
A map of the James River watershed
EtymologyKing James I
Native namePowhatan River
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of Cowpasture River and Jackson River
 - locationAllegheny Mountains, Virginia
 - coordinates37°47′4″N 79°46′33″W / 37.78444°N 79.77583°W[1]
MouthHampton Roads
 - location
Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
 - coordinates
36°56′30″N 76°26′37″W / 36.94167°N 76.44361°WCoordinates: 36°56′30″N 76°26′37″W / 36.94167°N 76.44361°W[1]
Length348 mi (560 km)
Basin size10,432 sq mi (27,020 km2)
 - average6,835 cu ft/s (193.5 m3/s)[2]
 - minimum10 cu ft/s (0.28 m3/s)
 - maximum313,000 cu ft/s (8,900 m3/s)
Basin features
 - leftChickahominy River
 - rightAppomattox River
James River hidden by trees in Lynchburg, VA IMG 4100
The James, hidden by trees, at Percival's Island Riverwalk in Lynchburg, Virginia


The Native Americans who populated the area east of the Fall Line in the late 16th and early 17th centuries called the James River the Powhatan River, named for the chief of the Powhatan Confederacy which extended over most of the Tidewater region of Virginia. The English colonists named it "James" after King James I of England,[4] as they also constructed the first permanent English settlement in the Americas in 1607 at Jamestown along the banks of the James River about 35 miles (56 km) upstream from the Chesapeake Bay.

The navigable portion of the river was the major highway of the Colony of Virginia during its first 15 years, facilitating supply ships delivering supplies and more people from England. However, for the first five years, despite many hopes of gold and riches, these ships sent little of monetary value back to the sponsors. In 1612, businessman John Rolfe successfully cultivated a non-native strain of tobacco which proved popular in England. Soon, the river became the primary means of exporting the large hogsheads of this cash crop from an ever-growing number of plantations with wharfs along its banks. This development made the proprietary efforts of the Virginia Company of London successful financially, spurring even more development, investments and immigration. Below the falls at Richmond, many James River plantations had their own wharfs, and additional ports and/or early railheads were located at Warwick, Bermuda Hundred, City Point, Claremont, Scotland, and Smithfield, and, during the 17th century, the capital of the Colony at Jamestown.

Navigation of the James River played an important role in early Virginia commerce and the settlement of the interior, although growth of the colony was primarily in the Tidewater region during the first 75 years. The upper reaches of the river above the head of navigation at the fall line were explored by fur trading parties sent by Abraham Wood during the late 17th century.

Although ocean-going ships were unable to navigate beyond present-day Richmond, portage of products and navigation with smaller craft to transport crops other than tobacco was feasible. Produce from the Piedmont and Great Valley regions traveled down the river to seaports at Richmond and Manchester through such port towns as Lynchburg, Scottsville, Columbia and Buchanan.

As the James River passed through the Confederate capital Richmond, it was the scene of much action in the Civil War, notably in the Peninsula Campaign, the Seven Days Battles and the Siege of Petersburg.

James River and Kanawha Canal

The James River was considered a route for transport of produce from the Ohio Valley. The James River and Kanawha Canal was built for this purpose, to provide a navigable portion of the Kanawha River, a tributary of the Ohio River. For the most mountainous section between the two points, the James River and Kanawha Turnpike was built to provide a portage link for wagons and stagecoaches. However, before the canal could be fully completed, in the mid-19th century, railroads emerged as a more practical technology and eclipsed canals for economical transportation. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) was completed between Richmond and the Ohio River at the new city of Huntington, West Virginia by 1873, dooming the canal's economic prospects. In the 1880s, the Richmond and Alleghany Railroad was laid along the eastern portion of the canal's towpath, and became part of the C&O within 10 years. In modern times, this rail line is used primarily in transporting West Virginia coal to export coal piers at Newport News.

Watershed and Course

The James River drains a catchment comprising 10,432 square miles (27,020 km2). The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million people (2000). The James River forms near Iron Gate on the border between Alleghany and Botetourt counties, from the confluence of the Cowpasture and Jackson rivers in the Appalachian Mountains. It flows into the Chesapeake Bay at Hampton Roads. Tidal waters extend west to Richmond, the capital of Virginia, at the river's fall line (the head of navigation). Larger tributaries draining to the tidal portion include the Appomattox River, Chickahominy River, Warwick River, Pagan River, and the Nansemond River.

At its mouth near Newport News Point, the Elizabeth River and the Nansemond River join the James River to form the harbor area known as Hampton Roads. Between the tip of the Virginia Peninsula near Old Point Comfort and the Willoughby Spit area of Norfolk in South Hampton Roads, a channel leads from Hampton Roads into the southern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean a few miles further east. Many boats pass through this river to import and export Virginia products.


Kepone Contamination

During the 1960's and 70's, mishandling and dumping of the insecticide Kepone resulted in the contamination of large stretches or the James River Estuary downstream of the Allied Signal Company and LifeSciences Product Company plants in Hopewell, Virginia. Due to the pollution risks, many businesses and restaurants along the river suffered economic losses. In 1975 Governor Mills Godwin Jr. shut down the James River to fishing for 100 miles, from Richmond to the Chesapeake Bay. This ban remained in effect for 13 years, until efforts to clean up the river began to show results. A decade of accumulated silt, lying above the contaminated riverbed, helped to reduce levels of the chemical. [5]


Huntington Beach April 27th 072 pano01
James River at Huntington Park Beach in Newport News

The James River contains numerous parks and other recreational attractions. Canoeing, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and swimming are some of the activities that people enjoy along the river during the summer. From the river's start in the Blue Ridge mountains to Richmond, numerous rapids and pools offer fishing and whitewater rafting. The most intense whitewater stretch is a 2-mile (3 km) segment that ends in downtown Richmond where the river goes over the fall line. This is the only place in the country where extensive class III (class IV with above average river levels) whitewater conditions exist within sight of skyscrapers. The urban river parks provide a great outdoor recreation/adventure opportunity for all the people of Richmond and the surrounding communities. Below the fall line east of Richmond, the river is better suited for water skiing and other large boat recreation. Here the river is known for its blue catfish, reaching average sizes of 20 to 30 pounds (9.1 to 13.6 kg), with frequent catches exceeding 50 pounds (23 kg). In the Chesapeake watershed, the James River is the last confirmed holdout for the nearly extirpated Atlantic sturgeon. In May 2007 a survey identified 175 sturgeon remaining in the entire river, with 15 specimens exceeding 5 feet (1.5 m).[6]


Due to its potential for generating mechanical power for rotating machinery such as grist mills, hydroelectric power, and as a water route for trade, many dams have been built across the James River since the time of European settlement of the region. While most of these dams have been removed or failed, several dams still exist along the upper course of the river. From the head of the river downstream to Richmond are found the following dams as identified by the current US Army Corps of Engineers National Inventory of Dams:[7]

The tallest dam is the Reusens Dam, which also has the greatest hydroelectric nameplate capacity and the greatest reservoir capacity. At 1,617 feet, the longest dam is the Cushaw Hydroelectric Project due to the highly angled path the dam takes across the river.

While not identified in the National Inventory of Dams, a very low head weir structure is found below Bosher Dam in Richmond on either side of Williams Island. Known as the "Z-Dam" for its zigzag course on the south side of the island, the current structure was built in 1932 and serves to direct water into Richmond's water treatment facility on the north bank. The less than 5 feet tall dam does not serve any power or navigation purpose.[8][9]


Atlantic coastline trestle
ACL Railroad crossing at the falls in Richmond.
Amtrak Across the James
Amtrak's Northeast Regional crosses near Lynchburg.
Boulevard Bridge Richmond VA Alistar Harris
Boulevard Bridge in Richmond

Highway bridges below Richmond

In the Hampton Roads area, the river is as much as 5 miles (8.0 km) wide at points. Due to ocean-going shipping upriver as far as the Port of Richmond, a combination of ferryboats, high bridges and bridge-tunnels are used for highway traffic. Crossings east to west include:

The SR 895 high-level crossing is the last bridge east of the Deepwater Port of Richmond and head of ocean-going navigation at the fall line of the James River. West of this point, potential flooding is more of an engineering concern than clearance for watercraft.

Highway bridges at Richmond

The following is a list of extant highway bridges across the James River with one or both ends within the City of Richmond.

Highway bridges west of Richmond

The following is a partial, incomplete list of extant highway bridges across the James River west of Richmond.


The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel prohibits bicycles, but bicyclists may take the Jamestown Ferry.[10] After a fatal accident on the Boulevard Bridge, the City of Richmond requires bicycles to travel on the sidewalk for the length of the bridge.

James River Reserve Fleet

NDRF James River 1990 DN-SC-91-01118
Part of the James River Fleet

The James River is the anchorage (37°07′13″N 76°38′47″W / 37.120393°N 76.646469°W) for a large portion of the National Defense Reserve Fleet, called the "James River fleet" or the "ghost fleet," consisting of "mothballed" ships, mostly merchant vessels, that can be activated within 20 to 120 days to provide shipping for the United States during national emergencies, either military or non-military, such as commercial shipping crises.[11]

The fleet is managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). It is a different entity from the United States Navy reserve fleets, which consist largely of warships.

James River in music

A song was recorded by country and Western music singer Lefty Frizzell about the river, called "James River," released on the Saginaw, Michigan album.

The Americana/bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show, released "James River Blues," a James River boatman's lament of the arrival of the railroads, on their 2006 album Big Iron World.

A song recorded by Waylon Jennings titled "The Ghost of General Lee" mentions "the James River water [running] a bloody red" following a battle between the Union and Confederate armies.

Avail, a music group from Richmond, recorded Over the James, a 1998 hardcore punk LP record released by Lookout Records (and re-released in 2006 by Jade Tree Records[12]) named in honor of the river, containing the song "Scuffle Town" whose lyrics also reference the river.

The river is referenced in the Wrinkle Neck Mules song "Banks of the James."

Prior to settling on the title Black Messiah, American soul singer D'Angelo was set on titling his third studio album James River.

In her song "When the Master Calls the Roll," from her 2014 album "The River & the Thread," American singer/songwriter Roseanne Cash refers to a planned wedding, sometime around the start of the Civil War, "down by the King James River" in Virginia.

Cracker's "James River" is on their 1998 album Gentlemen's Blues.

See also


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: James River
  2. ^ USGS data, accessed February 14, 2011
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived April 5, 2012, at WebCite, accessed April 1, 2011
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 168.
  5. ^ Jack Cooksey, "What's in the Water?", Richmond Magazine, June 2007, accessed 13 June 2012.
  6. ^ Karl Blankenship, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, "Bay Journal", September 2007, p. 7
  7. ^ US Army Corps of Engineers National Inventory of Dams; http://nid.usace.army.mil/
  8. ^ Williams Island Now Part of James River Park; www.richmond.com/outdoors/james-river/article_129b5338-486d-11e2-84d8-0019bb30f31a.html; retrieved August 29, 2015
  9. ^ Riggan, Philip (December 27, 2011). "Where am I RVA? Z-Dam on the James". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Crossing the Waters". Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  11. ^ Future of the James River "Ghost Fleet": Hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, July 7, 2003
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Buchanan, Virginia

Buchanan ( bə-KAN-ən) is a town in Botetourt County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,178 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was the western terminus of the James River and Kanawha Canal when construction on the canal ended.

Charles City County, Virginia

Charles City County is a historic county located in the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia. The county is situated southeast of Richmond and west of Jamestown. It is bounded on the south by the James River and on the east by the Chickahominy River.

The area that would become Charles City County was first established as "Charles Cittie" by the Virginia Company in 1619. It was one of the first four "boroughs" of Virginia, and was named in honor of Prince Charles, who would later become King Charles I of England. After Virginia became a royal colony, the borough was changed to "Charles City Shire" in 1634, as one of the five original Shires of Virginia. It acquired the present name of Charles City County in 1643.

In the 21st century, Charles City County is part of the Greater Richmond Region of the state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 7,256; it is still relatively rural and one of smaller counties in Virginia by population. Its county seat is the community of Charles City.Notable natives include the 9th and 10th Presidents of the United States, William Henry Harrison and John Tyler.

Chesterfield County, Virginia

Chesterfield County is a county located just south of Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The county's borders are primarily defined by the James River to the north and the Appomattox River to the south. Its county seat is Chesterfield Court House.Chesterfield County was formed in 1749 from parts of Henrico County. It was named for Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, a prominent English statesman who had been the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

As of the 2010 census, the population was 316,236, making it the fourth-most populous county in Virginia (behind Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun, respectively). In July 2014, the population was estimated to be 330,043. Chesterfield County is part of the Greater Richmond Region, and the county refers to much of the northern portion of the county as “North Chesterfield.”

Goochland County, Virginia

Goochland County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its southern border is formed by the James River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,717. Its county seat is Goochland.Goochland County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

James River Face Wilderness

The James River Face Wilderness is an 8,907-acre area located near Natural Bridge, Virginia that is protected by the Eastern Wilderness Act of Congress to maintain its present, natural condition. As part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, it helps to preserve a variety of natural life forms and contributes to a diversity of plant and animal gene pools. Over half of the ecosystems in the United States exist within designated wilderness.The wilderness contains many contrasting features. A short distance separates scorched hillsides, stark rockpiles and dry forest on one side and exceedingly rich vegetation on the crest of the Blue Ridge on the other.The area is part of the Glenwood Cluster.

James River National Wildlife Refuge

The James River National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge located along the James River in eastern Prince George County, Virginia. Its management is overseen by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

One of four refuges that comprise the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex, James River National Wildlife Refuge was founded in 1991 to protect nesting and roosting habitat of the bald eagle from development. The refuge's 4,200 acres (17 km2) of forest and wetlands are bordered by Powell Creek to the west, and by Flowerdew Hundred Plantation to the east.

The land that is now the refuge was the site of Powellbrooke Plantation, whose owner Captain Nathaniel Powell (one of the original 1607 colonists), his wife, and ten others were killed during the Indian Massacre of 1622, and later Merchant's Hope Plantation during colonial times.

James River State Park

James River State Park is a state park located along the James River in Buckingham County, Virginia. Opened June 20, 1999, it preserves part of the route of the Kanawha Canal in addition to portions of the river.

One of the many attractions at James River State Park is the park's more than 130 acres (0.53 km2) of native warm season grasses that blanket fields adjacent to the James River. These fields are maintained by periodic prescribed fire to facilitate growth of the native grasses. Very few areas of this size with warm season grasses still exist in the Eastern United States.

James River Wildlife Management Area

James River Wildlife Management Area is a 1,213-acre (4.91 km2) Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Nelson County, Virginia, near the town of Wingina. It consists of hilly woodland and relatively level bottomland along slightly more than one mile (1.6 km) of the James River. Elevations at the area range from 350 to 500 feet (110 to 150 m) above sea level.About 200 acres (0.81 km2) of property are open land that was once used for pasture and the growth of crops, although the older fields now support stands of Virginia pine. The remainder of the land is forested with a mix of pine, oak, and hickory. Various techniques are used to enhance the upland habitat, including prescribed burning and the management of annual and perennial plantings. Eight acres (3.2 ha) of impounded marsh have also been developed to provide food for waterfowl.James River WMA is owned and maintained by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The area is open to the public for hunting and trapping, with game opportunities including deer, rabbit, wild turkey, waterfowl, dove, and quail. Fishing, hiking, horseback riding, boating, and primitive camping are also permitted. Access for persons 17 years of age or older requires a valid hunting or fishing permit, a current Virginia boat registration, or a WMA access permit.

James River and Kanawha Canal

The James River and Kanawha Canal was a partially built canal in Virginia intended to facilitate shipments of passengers and freight by water between the western counties of Virginia and the coast. Ultimately its towpath became the roadbed for a rail line following the same course.

Surveyed and planned by George Washington, the canal project was begun in 1785 as the James River Company, and later restarted under the James River and Kanawha Canal Company. It was an expensive project which failed several times financially and was frequently damaged by floods. Though largely financed by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the Virginia Board of Public Works, it was only half completed by 1851, reaching Buchanan, in Botetourt County. When work to extend it further west stopped permanently, railroads were overtaking the canal as a far more productive mode of transportation.

After the American Civil War funds for resuming construction were unavailable from either the war-torn Commonwealth or private sources and the project did poorly against railroad competition, finally succumbing to damage done by massive flooding in 1877. In the end its right-of-way was bought and the canal was largely dismantled by the new Richmond and Allegheny Railroad, which laid tracks on the former towpath. The R&A became part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in the 1890s, which developed much of the former canal route into an important line for West Virginia bituminous coal headed eastbound for the Peninsula Extension to reach the Hampton Roads coal piers at Newport News for worldwide export aboard large colliers.

Jamestown, Virginia

The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the east bank of the James (Powhatan) River about 2.5 mi (4 km) southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. William Kelso writes that Jamestown "is where the British Empire began". It was established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 O.S.;(May 14, 1607 N.S.), and was considered permanent after brief abandonment in 1610. It followed several failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island. Jamestown served as the capital of the colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.

The settlement was located within the country of Tsenacommacah, which was ruled by the Powhatan Confederacy, and specifically in that of the Paspahegh tribe. The natives initially welcomed and provided crucial provisions and support for the colonists, who were not agriculturally inclined. Relations soured fairly early on, however, leading to the total annihilation of the Paspahegh in warfare within three years. Mortality was very high at Jamestown itself due to disease and starvation, with over 80 percent of the colonists perishing in 1609–10 in what became known as the "Starving Time".The Virginia Company brought eight Polish and German colonists in 1608 in the Second Supply, some of whom built a small glass factory—although the Germans and a few others soon defected to the Powhatans with weapons and supplies from the settlement. The Second Supply also brought the first two European women to the settlement. In 1619, the first documented Africans came to Jamestown—about 50 men, women, and children aboard a Portuguese slave ship that had been captured in the West Indies and brought to the Jamestown region. They most likely worked in the tobacco fields as indentured servants. The modern conception of slavery in the United States was formalized in 1640 (the John Punch hearing) and was fully entrenched in Virginia by 1660.The London Company's second settlement in Bermuda claims to be the site of the oldest town in the English New World, as St. George's, Bermuda was officially established in 1612 as New London, whereas James Fort in Virginia was not converted into James Towne until 1619, and further did not survive to the present day. In 1676, Jamestown was deliberately burned during Bacon's Rebellion, though it was quickly rebuilt. In 1699, the capital was relocated from Jamestown to what is today Williamsburg, Virginia, after which Jamestown ceased to exist as a settlement, existing today only as an archaeological site.

Today, Jamestown is one of three locations composing the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Yorktown, with two primary heritage sites. Historic Jamestowne is the archaeological site on Jamestown Island and is a cooperative effort by Jamestown National Historic Site (part of Colonial National Historical Park) and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement, a living history interpretive site, is operated by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, a state agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Kepone, also known as chlordecone, is an organochlorine compound and a colourless solid. This compound is an obsolete insecticide related to Mirex and DDT. Its use was so disastrous that it is now prohibited in the western world, but only after many millions of kilograms had been produced. Kepone is a known persistent organic pollutant (POP), classified among the "dirty dozen" and banned globally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants as of 2011.

Lynchburg, Virginia

Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568. The 2017 census estimates an increase to 81,000. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the "City of Seven Hills" or the "Hill City". In the 1860s, Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not recaptured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.Lynchburg lies at the center of a wider metropolitan area close to the geographic center of Virginia. It is the fifth-largest MSA in Virginia, with a population of 260,320. It is the site of several institutions of higher education, including the University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, and Liberty University. Nearby cities include Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Danville.

National Defense Reserve Fleet

The National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) consists of "mothballed" ships, mostly merchant vessels, that can be activated within 20 to 120 days to provide shipping for the United States of America during national emergencies, either military or non-military, such as commercial shipping crises.

The NDRF is managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). It is a different entity from the United States Navy reserve fleets, which consist largely of warships.

NDRF vessels are at the fleet sites at James River, Virginia–the 'James River Reserve Fleet'; Beaumont, Texas–the 'Beaumont Reserve Fleet'; and Suisun Bay, California- the 'Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet'; and at designated outported berths. Former anchorage sites included Stony Point, New York - the Hudson River Reserve Fleet; Wilmington, North Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; Astoria, Oregon; and Olympia, Washington.

Through the 2010s, the oldest, most decrepit hulls at Suisun Bay will be stripped of toxic materials, then broken up in Texas, California or Asia. Twenty of the most polluting mothball ships were slated for recycling by 2012, and another 32 by 2017.

At its peak in 1950, the NDRF had 2,277 ships in lay-up. In 2003, it had 274. In July 2007, it held 230 ships, primarily dry cargo ships with some tankers, military auxiliaries and other types. As of January 2018, the number of ships was down to 98.

Nelson County, Virginia

Nelson County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,020. Its county seat is Lovingston.Nelson County is part of the Charlottesville, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Nelson County is home to Wintergreen Resort, a local ski area; Swannanoa mansion and is the location of Walton's Mountain made famous by the television show, The Waltons. Nelson County is also home to ten wineries, five craft breweries, two cideries, two distilleries, many fruit orchards and Crabtree Falls.

Newport News, Virginia

Newport News is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 180,719. In 2013, the population was estimated to be 183,412, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia.

Newport News is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the northern shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton Roads. The area now known as Newport News was once a part of Warwick County. Warwick County was one of the eight original shires of Virginia, formed by the House of Burgesses in the British Colony of Virginia by order of King Charles I, in 1634. The county was largely composed of farms and undeveloped land until almost 250 years later.In 1881, 15 years of explosive development began under the leadership of Collis P. Huntington, whose new Peninsula Extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Richmond opened up means of transportation along the Peninsula and provided a new pathway for the railroad to bring West Virginia bituminous coal to port for coastal shipping and worldwide export. With the new railroad came a terminal and coal piers where the colliers were loaded. Within a few years, Huntington and his associates also built a large shipyard. In 1896, the new incorporated town of Newport News, which had briefly replaced Denbigh as the county seat of Warwick County, had a population of 9,000. In 1958, by mutual consent by referendum, Newport News was consolidated with the former Warwick County (itself a separate city from 1952 to 1958), rejoining the two localities to approximately their pre-1896 geographic size. The more widely known name of Newport News was selected as they formed what was then Virginia's third largest independent city in population.With many residents employed at the expansive Newport News Shipbuilding, the joint U.S. Air Force-U.S. Army installation at Joint Base Langley–Eustis, and other military bases and suppliers, the city's economy is very connected to the military. The location on the harbor and along the James River facilitates a large boating industry which can take advantage of its many miles of waterfront. Newport News also serves as a junction between the rails and the sea with the Newport News Marine Terminals located at the East End of the city. Served by major east-west Interstate Highway 64, it is linked to others of the cities of Hampton Roads by the circumferential Hampton Roads Beltway, which crosses the harbor on two bridge-tunnels. Part of the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is in the city limits.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond () is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond Region. Richmond was incorporated in 1742 and has been an independent city since 1871.

As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 204,214; in 2016, the population was estimated to be 223,170, making Richmond the fourth-most populous city in Virginia. The Richmond Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,260,029, the third-most populous metro in the state.

Richmond is located at the fall line of the James River, 44 miles (71 km) west of Williamsburg, 66 miles (106 km) east of Charlottesville, 100 miles (160 km) east of Lynchburg and 90 miles (140 km) south of Washington, D.C. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, and encircled by Interstate 295 and Virginia State Route 288. Major suburbs include Midlothian to the southwest, Chesterfield to the south, Varina to the southeast, Sandston to the east, Glen Allen to the north and west, Short Pump to the west and Mechanicsville to the northeast.

The site of Richmond had been an important village of the Powhatan Confederacy, and was briefly settled by English colonists from Jamestown in 1609, and in 1610–1611. The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780, replacing Williamsburg. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, and the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom written by Thomas Jefferson. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the second and permanent capital of the Confederate States of America. The city entered the 20th century with one of the world's first successful electric streetcar systems. The Jackson Ward neighborhood is a national hub of African-American commerce and culture.

Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government, with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms, located in the downtown area. The city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Dominion Energy and WestRock, Fortune 500 companies, are headquartered in the city, with others in the metropolitan area.

Richmond Kickers

The Richmond Kickers are an American professional soccer club based in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 1993, the Kickers are one of the oldest continuously run professional soccer clubs in the United States, tied with the Charleston Battery. After following USL Pro into the second division for 2017 and 2018, the Kickers will return to the third tier of American soccer in 2019 as a founding member of USL League One.The team's home field is City Stadium, where the club has played since 1995. The team's chairman is Robert Ukrop, a Richmond native and former Kickers player. The team is coached by former player David Bulow, who replaced Leigh Cowlishaw in 2018.

Scottsville, Virginia

Scottsville is a town in Albemarle and Fluvanna counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 566 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Surry County, Virginia

Surry County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,058. Its county seat is Surry.In 1652, Surry County was formed from the portion of James City County south of the James River. For more than 350 years, Surry County has depended on an agricultural economy. It has guarded its heritage, including many small towns and 19 sites listed on the National Register including a landmark occupied in 1676 known as Bacon's Castle and Chippokes Plantation (now a state park). The Jamestown Ferry provides easy access to Virginia's Historic Triangle, featuring Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, linked by the National Park Service's Colonial Parkway.

The county is known for farming, curing Virginia Hams, and harvesting lumber, notably Virginia Pine.


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