The Dismal Swamp Nobody Knows – New Publication from the VC&NS, 2016.

The Dismal Swamp Nobody Knows

The Virginia Canals & Navigations Society is proud to announce the publication of The Dismal Swamp Nobody Knows by William C. Hoffman and William Trout, III., Published by William Holt Messerly, Jr., 2016.

This new book is 11 x 8 1/2 with staples on the 8 1/2″ dimension, 48 pages. The book has many original drawings and reproductions of original watercolor paintings by William C. Hoffman.

This book will be released on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 and will be available for the first time at the VC&NS tent at the entrance of Percival’s Island in Lynchburg, VA prior to the launch of the 31st annual James River Batteau Festival. Dr. Bill Trout will be at the booth with copies for sale. The price is $10 plus tax. VC&NS Members receive a 20% discount. This new book will be available on the VC&NS online store on June 18th, and will start shipping after the Batteau Festival. Wholesale orders for museums and bookstores will also be available: Contact holt@vacanals.org for more information.

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    VCNS 2016 Annual Conference a great success Saturday Night in Lynchburg

    The VCNS annual conference in lynchburg continued Saturday night with dinner at the Depot Grill. The food and atmosphere was very good. After dinner everyone walked over to Amazement Square for the business meeting and desert.

    Amazement Square welcomed the VCNS and we held the meeting on the fourth floor. Gail Timberlake opened the meeting and made various announcements. Ralph Smith was awarded the lifetime achievement award with the actual award to be presented at the May 15th meeting of the JRBF in Scottsville since Gail wasn’t finished with it yet. Ralph was very appreciative of this award and thanked everyone.

    The election of Mike Neal to the position of Trustee (2016-2021) was voted on and passed. Mike takes Holt Messerly’s position that Holt served out his second term and he will continue working hard on publications and the website etc.

    After the meeting, a fine selection of cake was available and was very delicious.

    The many exhibits about the batteaux and other boats and canals were very awesome. Terry Zimmerman had fun trying to figure out the canal lock display controls.

    Later there was music with Gail’s friend Rhonda Baker, Lady’s Slipper crew member, playing guitar and singing. Rhonda wrote the Ballad of Dewey Wood.  When Gail and Tom Moore joined in and sang the song in memory of Dewey Wood it was very special and was so nice to hear. Then Tom Moore and his friend John Davies played and sang a few songs.

    The 2016 Annual Conference came to a quiet end in Lynchburg. Some people then camped at Lee’s Landing and enjoyed the campfire into the night.

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      VCNS 2016 Conference – Saturday – Canal Sites tour with Dr. Bill Trout

      The VCNS conference continued on Saturday morning with a tour of canal sites led by Dr. Bill Trout. We started off in downtown Lynchburg at the bottom of 9th St. Bill showed a model of the area to point out the way the canal went under the archway  and the way the railroad tracks went etc.

      We traveled to a couple more sites on the way to the BWXT site off Mt. Athos Road just up-river from the Joshua Falls boat landing. We were met by Mr. Christopher M. Dumond,  Communications Specialist, BWX Technologies, Inc. Chris spoke to our group about the history of BWXT.  Tom Moore won the prize for the trivia question which was a nice mug. Bill Trout showed the long double set of locks that led into the James River. Work needs to be done sometime in the future to clear the locks of trees/brush etc. Gail Timberlake suggested that we get together and have a cleanup of the site sometime. She also gave Christopher a set of  three of her children’s batteau books series.

      We continued back up to a couple more sites along Mt. Athos Road and one more site beside US. 460 before departing for the morning. The JRBF Swiftwater safety class was going on at the same time as our tour. See Photos of safety class – click here.

      The VCNS Annual Conference continued at the Depot Grill in Lynchburg where the annual business meeting was held.

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        VCNS 2016 Annual Conference off to great start at Batteau House!

        The 2016 annual conference for the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society kicked off on Friday April 22, 2016 at “Batteau House”, which is the new home for the VCNS.

        Dr. Bill Trout was showing off some of the many many artifacts, batteau and canal things on display all over the house.

        Gail Timberlake, VCNS President, made introductions before Holt Messerly presented a slideshow for the year in review. Before the main slideshow Holt showed a few shorter sections of photos as a preview. The slides of the Clifton Lee Batteau out of control were especially popular with the group! Who could resist wanting to watch Lisa B. hit a rock at 7-islands and see the look on her face!

        The food was great and everyone had a good time.

        Saturday, JRBF members will attend a safety class  by the river and some VCNS members are going on a road tour of some canal sites in Lynchburg, led by Dr Bill Trout.

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