Cat Rock Sluice Halifax, Virginia   •  Historic Rivers
Staunton Scenic River Tour
Contributed by the stewards of the Staunton River and the Roanoke River Basin.
The Staunton Scenic River begins at Long Island, Virginia,
and extends to the Kerr Reservoir.
Comments and questions to Halifax Web WorX.

   What makes this river unique is its dual personality - it has two names. At both ends it is the Roanoke, but in the middle it is the Staunton. On some maps it is marked as the Roanoke from one end to the other. However, that part of it which flows through South Central Virginia is known locally and on most maps as the Staunton (pronounced Stanton) from the mouth of Back Creek to its confluence with the Dan.

   It is with that part of the river that our story is concerned.

   The name "Staunton" is said to originate from Captain Henry Staunton, a soldier of the Revolutionary War, who earlier was in command of a company of soldiers organized to patrol the river valley from the mountains to the mouth of the Dan to protect the early white settlers from the incursions of the Indians. This section of the river came to be known locally as "Captain Staunton's River".

   When Capt. Staunton and his men were patrolling the river, a young girl named Mary Crawford who lived at the white settlement near Hurt in Pittsylvania County was stolen by the Indians and taken to their camp near Smith Mountain. Col. Abner Anthony, an early Campbell County citizen, relating the story, said that Capt. Staunton learned where the Indians had hidden Mary, stole into their camp at night and rescued her, wading and swimming the river with the girl to conceal his tracks from the Indians, and brought her safely home to her parents.

   However, "A Hornbook of Virginia History" quotes William Byrd in 1728: "We call'd this South Branch of Roanoke the Dan as I had call'd the North Branch the Stanton before."
(The quote's origin is found in William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line betwixt Virginia and North Carolina, page 193.)

(Taken from the Introduction of the Herman Ginther's book "Captain Staunton's River" - 1968 - with permission.)
River Network - Helping People Understand, Protect, and Restore Rivers and their Watersheds
VA. Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries
Special Places

•  River Map - Charts 15 - 23
•  Long Island (Aerial Photo)
•  Staunton River Batteau Photos
•  Cat Rock Sluice
•  Samuel Pannill's Green Hill Plantation
•  Samuel Pannill's Bridge
•  Belle Mont - Collins Ferry
•  Indian Jim's Cave
•  Patrick Henry's Red Hill Plantation
•  Seven Islands
•  Clarkton Bridge
•  Clarkton Plantation
•  Coles' Ferry
•  Long Branch - Carrington
•  Chester Plantation
•  Riverview
•  George Washington's Crossing
•  South Isle Plantation - The Oaks
•  Staunton Hill
•  Woodlawn Plantation
•  Staunton River Battlefield State Park
•  Staunton River State Park
•  Steamboats on the Staunton
•  Confluence with the Dan (Google Earth Photo)


River Resources

•  USGS Stream Flow Data - Real-Time - At Brookneal
•  Staunton River Display at the Museum
•  Wildlife Crime Watch
•  James River Batteau Festival
•  RoanokeRiver.com




Back to Historic Sites Listings