Moormans River

Sugar Hollow- Charlottesville, VA

Moormans River

Crozet, Virginia 22932, United States

Created By: University of Virginia


Moormans River

  • The final place is the Moormans river which receives its water flow from the North Fork Moormans River/Charlottesville Reservoir.

Personal Connection

  • The Moormans River is another place in this area that I have spent many hours at during my time at UVA. It is much flatter with a wider river than the North Fork Moormans River. It also looks very different compared to many large rocks and boulders around the bank. I have always liked to come to this area because it is very accessible with different paths and a great place to forget any stress and enjoy miles of nature. I will spend time here with friends or alone walking through the paths and river sections and will fly fish as well. During my time while I was recording my tour, I ran into many different species. I saw rabbits, squirrels, lizards, birds, and many bugs starting to come off of the river, which led to brook trout eating off of the river's surface, as seen in the second video if you look closely. One of the ways I enjoy spending time is especially during the spring in this area. As discussed, many flies and bugs hatch around the river during this time, and I spend much time trying to figure out what these flies look like or what type they are and match them with a fly for fishing. The flies that were hatching during this time looked white, and I could get a few bites from small brook trout by mimicking it. This has always been something I find interesting is how different times of the year, the area is a habitat for different species or insects.
  • However, I did notice that there has been much more work done on the banks of this river, making it less natural compared to the North Fork. For example, I noticed benches in different areas, more defined paths, and man-made bridges for cars or walking to cross rivers. Also, since this area is relatively flat, there are many more houses and farms. However, I was curious about how long this area has been developed with farms and more accessible areas and how it has changed over centuries like in the other places.

Historical connection

  • After researching the Monacan Nation, I learned that they lived in villages, typically along rivers, and that their homes were made out of bark and reed mats formed into a dome shape (Our History). As discussed earlier, most research states that Monacans most likely lived in this area, and I became curious if this area of what is now the Moorman river is somewhere where they might have had a village. Also, the Monacans grew the “Three Sisters” crops: corn, beans, and squash, which probably could have been grown in this area as a source of food (Our History). They also hunted elk, deer, and small game. While I have not seen any deer or small game in the area, there could have been a larger population in this area in earlier centuries. While I could not find anything in my research to confirm where the Monacans lived in what is now the Sugar Hollow area, I feel like this river area could be a possible place, and it is vital to think of how the area has changed over centuries.
  • When inquiring what Moormans river was named before, there was not much available. To provide a brief history of the Moormans and how the river received its name, the Moorman family was first recorded in Virginia in 1686 (Paulin). The family purchased the land near what is now Moormans river in 1735, and it was named after Thomas in the family. However, research is unclear as to whom they purchased the land from. They were most likely part of settler colonialism in the area. While the Moorman family enslaved people during this time, the American Revolution pushed many Quakers, as were the Moormans, to be anti-slavery. In 1778, Charles Moorman freed his thirty-three slaves (Paulin).
  • Connecting the Moorman river to Indigenous history, it is a headwater to the South Fork Rivanna River, which leads to the Rivanna River. The Monacan tribe lived on the banks of the Rivanna River. Thomas Jefferson recorded in the 1750s that “several Indians had been observed visiting one of the mounds on the Rivanna River '' (Encyclopedia Virginia Staff). Furthermore, the location was recorded by John Smith that the area was Monacan territory, but it is unclear whether the Monacans built the burial mounds (Encyclopedia Virginia Staff). However, in 2000, the Monacan Nation led a blessing ceremony at the burial site (Encyclopedia Virginia Staff). When connecting the history of the Rivanna River and Monacan Nation, it demonstrates how the area of what is now Sugar Hollow and Moormans area was originally Monacan territory since they are close and connected rivers.

Works Cited

Education, Virginia Department of. “Monacan Indian Nation.” VDOE :: Virginia's First People Past & Present - Monacan Indian Nation,

Encyclopedia Virginia Staff . “Monacan Indian Nation.” Encyclopedia Virginia,

Hawkins , Blair. “Water Supply History.” Water Supply History - Blair's Magazine, 5AD, 2017,,build%20the%20University%20of%20Virginia.

“History Today .” The History Search | Moormans River,

James , Phil. “Sugar Hollow Reservoir: A Cool Drink of Water.” The Crozet Gazette, 13 Jan. 2010,

“The Monacan in Virginia.” Virginia Places ,

Native Land Digital , 8 Oct. 2021,

North Fork Moormans River, 2022 Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources,


Paullin, Charles O. “The Moorman Family of Virginia.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 12, no. 3, 1932, p. 177., doi:10.2307/1919177.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Sugar Hollow- Charlottesville, VA


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