The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

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South Geology Tour

Stop 3d: A Useful Scar

In the 1800s and 1900s, Belle Isle was the site of factories that harnessed power from the fast moving waters of the Fall Zone. Virginia cities, such as  Richmond, Alexandria, and Fredericksburg, sprang up along this geological "scar" because the rocks prevented further upstream navigation by boat and created rapids that provided the energy to power factories.

see caption below photo

Belle Isle 1877 Illustrated Atlas of the City of Richmond

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