Chesapeake Bay. If you have visited the old plantations located along the James River, it is easy to visualize the historical navigation of goods to and from London. Look around. The preservation of the oldest homes include green houses cut deep into the ground where planters grew cuttings of English boxwood and other flowers and plants. Among the occupations of the first settlers were brick masons, glass blowers, candle makers, silversmiths, etc. They copied the architectual styles and tastes of their countrymen. Each plantation had its wharf for loading and unloading. Sometimes, there was a little storage house built nearby where crops like cotton and rice awaited transport. Rivers have always been essential to navigation for vessels of all shapes and sizes. From the early 1600s in Virginia, carpenters built useful vessels to be used on the rivers, ranging from flat boats to sloops. The Atlantic, Chesapeake and the major rivers in the Commonweath played a major role of imports and exports from Europe and the West Indies. The New England areas expanded rapidly because of its ports, and many of the first settlements in Virginia can be attributed to the James River. A useful practice for genealogists is to pinpoint the various ports of entry along the Atlantic seaboard and visualize where the ancestors might have first set their feet upon American soil!
Where to find online images of old Virginia Wills Virginia Pioneers Online