First Glimpses of the River

AMST 4500: Kamya's Final Project- Tour of Texas Beach

First Glimpses of the River

Richmond, Virginia 23219, United States

Created By: University of Virginia


Beginning our walk down the trail yielded our first views of the James River between trees. Before I could even see the river I heard the clear, rhythmic sounds of the rapids and smelled fresh, slightly salty air. The pace of the river provided a gentle breeze that was relieving as the sun began to climb higher in the sky. While we had initially brought a speaker so we could play music as we walked, we opted to listen to the sounds of the wind whistling through the trees and the rhythmic splash of the shallow water on rocks.

The James River was given the name by colonial settlers that displaced the indigenous tribes in central Virginia. Originally, the river was called the Powhatan river by the Powhatan tribe- the pimary tribe living below the James River fall line in what is now known as Richmond. West of the fall line, land was occupied by the Monacan tribe. Both the Monacan and Powhatan peoples were intimately connected to the river as a source of food, travel, and defense. The river was home to lush and plentiful variety of fish, game, migratory birds, and fertile ground- a beautiful environment for a well organized indigenous village. The city now known as Richmond used to go by the name of Powhatan as well as Shocquohocan or Shockoe- now the name of a massive trading and freight district in the modern city.

Source: James River History | James River Association (

Links to video:

This point of interest is part of the tour: AMST 4500: Kamya's Final Project- Tour of Texas Beach


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