Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scottsville Batteau Festival

For 24 years, there have been groups of people that have recreated a trip along the James River in central Virginia in boats called batteaux or bateaux. (There seems to be some debate if there is one "t" or two. )

What is a bateau?
From Wikipedia :A bateau is a shallow-draft, flat-bottomed boat which was used extensively across North America, especially in the colonial period and in the fur trade. It was traditionally pointed at both ends but came in a wide variety of sizes. The name derives from the French word, bateau, which is simply the word for boat and the plural, bateaux, follows the French, an unusual construction for an English plural. In the southern United States, the term is still used to refer to flat bottomed boats, including those elsewhere called jon boats.

In the 1800's, they were used to transport tobacco and other cargo along the James River, and today, there is a week long festival and batteau (bateau, or even batoe, take your pick!) race. The crews of the boats travel for seven days, and leave from Lynchburg traveling to Maiden's Landing in Richmond. It's a week long celebration of the rich history of the river, and the people who worked on it.

One of the stops along the river is a small town named Scottsville. It it is about midway through the trip, and the town hosts a wonderful craft show, complete with music, activities for kids, and yummy food. It is a delightful day, held in Canal Basin Square, a lovely park, dedicated to the history of Scottsville, and not surprisingly, batteaux.

This will be the second year that The Beaded Branch will be a vendor at the craft show. If you live nearby, and have a chance to come on down, please do. It's a great day/evening for the family.

Here is a link with more information on the batteau festival:
Here's a link for the town of Scottsville's participation:

We hope to see you there!!!!


  1. That sounds really cool! I wish we had reenactment stuff around here!!!

  2. Wow! What an awesome history lesson! I wish you the best w/ the festival! Good Luck!