Jan 18, 2014 · 10:00 AM
This location is shown only to members
The Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation is building a visitor center and new recreation area next to Bells Mill Park.
On December 9, 1775, The Battle of Great Bridge occurred in the area now known as Chesapeake. This battle played a critical role in the struggle for American independence; four days later, as a direct result of the Patriot victory, the Virginia Convention adopted the first public declaration expressing a spirit of independence.
In 1896, the construction of the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal intersected a small portion of the battlefield. A century later, in the mid 1990s, plans for replacement of the bridge across the canal by the US Army Corps of Engineers provided the final opportunity to reclaim and preserve a major portion of the original battlefield. The urgency of preserving the battle site prompted the City of Chesapeake to write an Historic Preservation Plan in 1996, stating that the greatest threats to the battlefield would be transportation improvements caused by urban development and redevelopment of vacant properties. The National Park Service has also listed the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways site as an historical site in need of immediate and direct preservation measures by state and local governments and organizations. Without direct assistance, this historical site may not survive, removing an important source of public education and commerce within the Commonwealth of Virginia. More details at http://www.gbbattlefield.org/project.html
Our trek will start with the 2.5 mile loop at Bell's Mill and then we will cross the bridge and stroll the Great Bridge Locks Park on the other side of the canal. The Battlefield Park site will be along the way over to the bridge and depending on the state of construction we may venture there.