History and Mystery on the Banister River
A Video Investigation

Compiled by Henry H. Mitchell, the Rev. Samuel Stone, Herman E. Melton, William T. Hathaway, Darrell B. Wilkerson, and others. Further technical assistance was provided by Judy M. Stickel of the Pittsylvania County Public Schools and David L. Mitchell of Stereoface.com.

History and Mystery on the Banister River is a video of approximately one hour in length, created in 1993, and now posted below in eleven segments. It details a difficult-to-reach, wild zone along the Banister River in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. There a massive Native American fish weir (rock dam) remains from pre-Colonial days, and during the early 1800's a grist mill was built by Edmund Fitzgerald, with a still-impressive canal (or “race”) constructed to bring water to it. The area was also the site of a Native American canoe landing, and became known in early Colonial days as the “Port of Riceville.” In the video, the hard-to-traverse zone along the river is explored twice on foot, and expert information about it is provided by the Rev. Samuel Stone, historian Herman E. Melton, and naturalist William T. Hathaway.

Each of the following links downloads a segment of the video from YouTube. (The image link at right is to Part 4: “First Expedition: The Mill Race.”)