York River State Park’s Archaeologist Jerome Traver stumbled across a unique find along Riverview Trail. Among leaves, fallen trees, and a nest of yellow jackets is the site of a fort that dates back almost350 years.
The fort was built on Brian Smith’s Taskinas Plantation in 1676. There were two threats to the colonists at the time. Native American tribes were rumored to be lurking in the area. Smith was a supporter of Governor William Berkley and feared an attack from Nathaniel Bacon and his band of rebels. Neither threat materialized as Bacon died that very year before he could make any attacks south of the York River. Also,localtribes never mounted a serious armed campaign since the 1645 Treaty of Middle Plantation was signed. The fort most likely stood until “ye gust,” a hurricane, destroyed it and most of the other plantation structures in 1719.
Fragments of glassware, metal tools, and other relics of the colonial period can be viewed in the visitors center. Bikers, hikers, and horseback riders will notice a series of small red flags on Riverview Trail before reaching the York. These indicate the location of the fort. Don’t be surprised if you find Jerry diligently trying to make this year’s great discovery.