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Tappahannock is older than Richmond , Fredericksburg and even Williamsburg . Captain John Smith landed here in 1608 but was driven back to his ship by the local Indians.
In 1608, this area was first visited by Captain John Smith. The area was inhabited by Native Americans and when Captain Smith attempted to land here he was fiercely driven back to his ship. It was a Native American village and so he gave both the river and the village Native American names. The river became the Rappahannock, which meant "rise and fall" of water, and the village, set upon it, became Tappahannock, which means "town on the rise and fall of water".
England desired to establish a port of entry in each county and Benjamin Goodrich sold the crown 50 acres of land for the town site. A trading post was established by Jacob Hobbs. For a few years the area was known as Hobb's His Hole and later as New Plymouth. Eventually, the original name was returned in 1705. On and around the water still remain thirteen homes and buildings from these early days of Tappahannock.
The Town of Tappahannock was established by Act of the Virginia Legislature at James City in 1680. The Town was laid out in half acre squares which still bear the original numbers and its wide and straight streets still retain the original names. To the original 68 lot numbers eight "slip" lots were added to make the Town border on the Rappahannock River. A "Square" bounded by Prince (Main), Church, Queen, and Cross Streets was set aside in 1680 for "the Publick Use" and on this square are located four of the "Landmark" buildings.
Captain John Smith created the first detailed map of the Chesapeake Region. His masterpiece map of Virginia, published in 1612, remained in active use for seven decades and opened this part of North America to European exploration, settlement, and trade. The geographical accuracy is astounding given that Smith traveled about 2500 miles in a series of short expeditions and had only primitive mapmaking tools to work with.
429 Dock St, Tappahannock, Virginia 22560, United States