The James River Batteau is a flat bottomed boat which was used to transport tobacco from areas of Central Virgina
to Richmond during the late 1700's. The boats were generally from 6-8 feet wide, 40-50 feet long and were
constructed of white oak. For the past 15 years the James River Batteau Festival has been held in June to
celebrate these boats and the important role they played in Virginia history. The public is invited to come and see
the boats at any one of our 8 festival sites. Anyone interested in constructing a boat and joining the festival can get
started through this website.
The 2000 James River Batteau Festival will be held Friday June 16th through Saturday June 24th. Friday evening
there will be dinner, music and other activities on Percival's Island in downtown Lynchburg. Saturday the batteaux
will depart at 11:00 AM for the 8 day, 120 mile adventure down the James River. This year it is expected that about
15 batteaux will participate in the festival. The flat bottomed boats will relive the river trade of the 1700's when the
James River played a major role in getting tobacco and other goods to Richmond.