In 1745, Old Albemarle County was organized at Scott’s Landing, its first county seat, here on the Great Horseshoe Bend of the James River. In 1818, the town was incorporated as Scottsville. Beginning in 1840, it flourished as the chief port above Richmond for freight and passenger boats on the James River and Kanawha Canal. It played a vital role in the opening up of the west. The 1840’s and 50’s were its golden era.
Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission 1976.
Scottsville, which is on the James River, was a river port during the Revolutionary War. Known as Scott’s Landing, it served as an important supply source for goods, such as tobacco and other supplies. They were floated down the river to Richmond in flat-bottom boats known as Bateaux.
St. John’s Church
St. Anne’s Episcopal Parish, Est. 1745.
Lunch in Scottsville — There are several possibilities for lunch in Scottsville. Wherever you eat, it is likely that at one time the location was under water. Note the flood markers that can be found on many of the buildings downtown.
Campaign of 1781
Steuben, both on his retreat from Simcoe and on his return north to join Lafayette, passed near here, June 1781.
(Route 60 Marker)
Campaign of 1781 Marker — George Washington sent Lafayette to Virginia with about 1,200 troops in response to the second and third invasions of Virginia. He wanted to stop Benedict Arnold’s devastating raids on the towns and villages along the James River and possibly capture him. However, when Arnold’s army linked up with Cornwallis, creating an army of about 7,000, Lafayette was greatly outnumbered. He wrote Washington: “It now appears that I have business with two armies.”
Lafayette knew he could only skirmish with this large army until he received reinforcements. To protect his supplies, he sent them west with General von Steuben to this area. However, British Colonel Simcoe fooled Steuben by deploying his troops to look and sound like the vanguard of the combined British armies. Steuben retreated with his men, leaving the supplies in Simcoe’s cunning hand.
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