Herring Creek is a tributary of the James River named for the Alewife and Blueback River Herring that historically have ascended Herring creek along with Hickory Shad to spawn between February and April, and then return to the sea where they spend most of their lives. River Herring are important forage fish (prey) for ospreys, bald eagles, striped bass, sharks, tunas, sea birds, and marine mammals.
The area surrounding Herring Creek was inhabited by Native Americans until the English settled here in 1619, establishing two tracts of land called Westover and Berkeley Hundred, bordered on the South by the James River and on the North by Herring Creek. Here were born Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and fifth Governor of Virginia; his son, William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States; and William Byrd II, who founded Richmond in 1737 at the Falls of the James.
In the 1860's Herring Creek was the site of several skirmishes between Confederate forces and the Union Army which encamped nearby. Brigadier General Nathan Kimball, U.S. Army reported: "I have the honor to report that, in compliance with orders from General Keyes, I moved my brigade on the morning of the 3d instant across Herron [Herring] Creek to the extreme right... While reconnoitering in person I was fired at
by the enemy's sharp shooters from the bushes bordering the road running north from the Charles City road..."