Flood Marker of 1771

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The disastrous flood of May 27, 1771, when “all the great Rivers of this county were swept by Inundations Never before experienced, Which changed the face of nature,” is commemorated on this stone obelisk deep in the woods of eastern Henrico County. The flood was 18th-century Virginia’s worst natural disaster. The monument, erected that same year by Ryland Randolph on a bank above the James River bottomlands, was intended as a memorial to his parents, Richard and Jane Bolling Randolph. The flood so impressed Randolph that he had the monument inscribed with a description of the disaster, partially quoted above. The obelisk is an unusually large and impressive example of a colonial memorial piece. Its capstone was lost through Civil War damage.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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