In Podcast #7 the Virginia Trekkers take you to the Fall Line where the Piedmont Region drops down to the Coastal Plain Region.  This drop in elevation causes waterfalls and rapids, which meant that the Fall Line was where many ships sailing west had to stop.  So it was a great place to settle.  In this podcast you’ll explore where Christopher Newport landed; see kayakers enjoying the rapids;   learn why water levels in the coastal plain change with the tides; and review the four major rivers of Virginia.  Come on!  Let’s go trekkin’!

There is a monument near the Fall Line to mark the spot near where Christopher Newport and John Smith landed on May 24, 1607.  They set up a wooden cross on one of the small islands in the James River and inscribed it with the words Jacobus Rex, 1607 (“King James, 1607”).  The actual cross has long since rotted away, so a bronze cross was used for this memorial, and it stands on top of a pyramid of James River granite.  The monument has actually been moved two times.  When it was built in 1907 it was located in Gamble’s Hill Park, overlooking the river below; then in 1983 it was moved to Shockoe Slip, closer to the river;  finally in 2003 it was moved to its present location along the canal walk, even closer to the landing spot of Christopher Newport.

Fall Line

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SOL Correlation:

3.3b The student will study the exploration of the Americas by

  1. b)identifying reasons for exploring, the information gained, and the results from the travels.


VS.2a The student will demonstrate knowledge of the geography and early inhabitants of Virginia by

a) locating Virginia and its bordering states on maps of the United States;

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