WASHINGTON- The National Park Service is pleased to announce the James River, Virginia Travel Itinerary. Discover the self-guided tour at NPS online: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/traveljamesriverva/index.htm.
The James River has been a silent witness to some of the most triumphant and most devastating moments in North American history. The events that unfolded in the 400 years since the first European ships docked in the New World have altered the landscape physically, socially, and economically. No other settlement pattern or landscape was as instrumental to the founding of Virginia as a British colony or the United States of America.
The James River, Virginia travel itinerary captures centuries of the region’s diverse history through 30 sites listed on the National Register of Historic and in national parks. These places, which range from Native American sites, to colonial-era tobacco plantations, to military defenses hospitals, and ironworks, to free African American sites, have preserved American heritage through the built environment or through the material culture people left behind. The new James River itinerary combines history, historic preservation, and archaeology to offer visitors a broader, more inclusive history of the region. In addition to descriptions of the individual sites, the online itinerary offers a number of informative essays and other educational resources to supplement the visitor experience.
It is number 40 in a series of over 60 itineraries by the Department of Interior to promote public awareness of history and encourage visits to historic places and parks through the Nation. Through partnerships with communities, regions, and heritage areas throughout the United States, the Heritage Travel itineraries help highlight the diversity of the country’s historic places and increased awareness about our shared heritage.
The new itinerary replaces the Discover Our Shared Heritage James River Plantations itinerary, produced in 2005 through the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places partnership with James River Plantations of Charles City County, Virginia, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.