9. Buena Vista, History Runs Through It

by L. McFaden, W. Graham, M. R. Wenger, C. M. Downing and C. A. Huston

Phase I/II Archaeological Investigation of Area #4 and Documentation of the North River Navigation System (HAER VA-61)
Associated with the Buena Vista Floodwall Project, Buena Vista, Virginia
1992 xiv + 162 pp. 81 figs., 10 tables, 1 appdx.

This report summarizes archaeological investigation and architectural documentation for the proposed Buena Vista Levee/Floodwall project, Buena Vista, Virginia. Prehistoric ceramic sherds recovered from a feature and a midden layer at Site 44RB65 date primarily to the Late Woodland period. Site 44RB66 represents a multicomponent site that dates from the Late Archaic/ Transitional period and the Middle and Late Woodland periods. Five architecturally significant canal features were documented, all parts of the North River Navigation. Built between 1851 and 1860, this project ultimately provided a transportation link between Lexington, Virginia, and the upper James River. The features include the remains of three aqueducts and the fragmentary remains of two nearly identical stone locks. The North River Navigation represents a rare and intact example of stone lock and aqueduct construction in Virginia, exhibiting similarities to earlier structures of the Potomac Canal at Great Falls, Virginia.

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