“George Washington’s Vision” at Canal Walk


"George Washington's Vision" at the Canal Walk Turning Basin in downtown Richmond, Virginia.WHAT: “George Washington’s Vision” at the Canal Walk Turning Basin in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

LOCATION: West of the intersection of 14th and Dock streets.

Richmond was the eastern terminus of the Kanawha CanalARTIST: Applebaum Associates Inc.

DEDICATION: 2001

DESCRIPTION: The granite and bronze display is arranged in a circle and centered with a surveyor’s compass. The text and map within the display highlight the key points of the Kanawha Canal and Washington’s vision of connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River.

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"George Washington's Vision" at the Canal Walk Turning BasinFrom the display:

George Washington promoted the concept of a great central waterway long before he became this nation’s first President. A surveyor of western lands as a young man, and later a landowner of vast tracts beyond the Alleghenies, Washington had close knowledge of the western territories, which he feared would be controlled by France and Spain if trade routes to eastern markets were not established.

Washington’s vision was to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River with navigable rivers, canals, and a land portage through what is now West Virginia. After the Revolution, the James River Company was created, primarily as a result of his sponsorship and lobbying efforts. Before Washington’s death in 1799, a large portion of his dream had been realized.

Two canals bypassed the falls of the James River at Richmond, and 220 miles of river improvements extended westward. In the early 19th century, other farsighted Virginians took over Washington’s leadership role. The final elements of his plan were completed in the 1820s, when the Kanawha Turnpike joined the headwaters of the James River to the Kanawha River. In 1835, the James River and Kanawha Company was formed, and within 15 years a canal system stretched to Buchanan, Virginia, a distance of 197 miles.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Graybeard on March 5, 2014 at 6:52 am

    The only remaining Lock Keeper’s House is located at Cedar Point in Goochland, on the river, about 2 miles west of Maidens.It’s in excellent condition and well used by the current owner. On the National and Virginia Historic Registers of Historic Places, c 1836. Easily visible from the river, it stands 3 floors on granite walls founded on bedrock.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Speech Giver on November 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    What was the exact date of the dedication?

    Reply

  3. [...] Works to Shockoe Bottom and is full of historic locations and displays. One of the best is “George Washington’s Vision” at the Canal Walk Turning Basin in downtown [...]

    Reply

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