May 18, 2015

On The River: Episode 1 Takes You Down the Historic James River

Visitors to the James River see largely the same view as Captain John Smith did when he traveled the historic waterway in 1607.
Visitors to the James River see largely the same view as Captain John Smith did when he traveled the historic waterway in 1607.

The James River is “America’s founding river,” yet not everyone has the opportunity to visit it in person. So for this entire week, we at Preservation Nation are taking you on a virtual trip down this beautiful, historic waterway, so you can see for yourself what would be lost if Dominion Virginia Power goes through with its disruptive power line proposal.

As Elizabeth Kostelny, executive director of Preservation Virginia, put it to us:

"The past and the future meet on the James River. Whether viewed from its banks or a boat, you feel part of something larger -- for centuries people traveled the waterway and have seen a similar landscape. For me, the James River is centering.

Iconic places across the country speak to our past and our future. Standing on the Oregon Trail and seeing the ruts of wagon wheels and the vast expanse of plains, you understand risk and persistence. Standing on the floor of Death Valley and looking across at the dramatic rise of the mountain range, you understand overcoming hurdles. On the James River, considering that it is the place where the people of three continents first came together, you understand sacrifice and endurance.

We protect the integrity of these places because they aren’t just about our moment on earth. These places have lasting meaning to us as a society. ... The future will judge whether we respected the character of [this] place, [its] history, and [the] environment."

Watch the video and see for yourself what's at stake:

Julia Rocchi is the director of content marketing at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and gawks at buildings.

@rocchijulia

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