Falls of the Rappahannock River

Falls of the Rappahannock River (HM1SPD)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Buy Virginia State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 38° 19.255', W 77° 29.383'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
The Rappahanock River tumbles out of the Virginia Piedmont and drops 25 feet over a distance of one mile. For more than two centuries, industries in this transitional zone used this natural energy. Early settlers brought their corn and wheat to water-powered grist-mills in Fredericksburg and Falmouth. As the area grew and prospered, larger merchant mills provided even greater capacity.

In 1854-55, the Fredericksburg Water Power Company constructed a stone and timber dam in this vicinity to raise the water level and generate more pressure for industrial use. In the aftermath of the Civil War, this available waterpower provided a critical resource for economic recovery. The concrete dam and hydroelectric power plant (built 1909-10) provided electrical power to the region until a nuclear power plant came on line on the North Anna River. Removing these dams restored the Rappahanock River to a free-flowing waterway along its entire length.

The crib dam altered a navigation canal to a raceway that subsequently powered several local mills and industries. It remained in use until 1910, when it was inundated behind the larger Embry Dam.

This 1910 photo shows teh 1850 crib dam as it looked during construction of the concrete Embry Dam.

A flood in 1889 collapsed the far end of the

crib dam and the rushing water caused considerable erosion. The gouged out riverbank remains evident today.

The power company incorporated a stone canal lock into the dam abutment, which allowed for continued navigation. It was used intermittently into the twentieth century.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, June 20th, 2016 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 282349 N 4244355
Decimal Degrees38.32091667, -77.48971667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 19.255', W 77° 29.383'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 19' 15.3" N, 77° 29' 22.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Embrey Dam Trail, Fredericksburg VA 22401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?