James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 3.56'
Flow: 1210 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 5:00pm
Low Tide: 11:24am

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Richmond’s Greatest River Champion

Andy Thompson

December 4, 2018 11:25am

In Sunday’s email blast, Richmond Magazine editors reprinted a story by Harry Kollatz Jr. from 2003 about a Richmonder as little known today as his impact on the city was great. It was offered as a prelude to tonight’s “Controversy/History” forum at The Valentine called “James River: Commerce or Recreation?” Click here for more on that.

But if you’re unfamiliar with Newton Ancarrow, Kollatz’s piece offers a wonderful primer on the man and his impact on Richmond and the James River:

Newton Ancarrow looks at film from his movie The Raging James. Credit: Times-Dispatch

One Against the Current

By Harry Kollatz Jr.

He died in 1991 thinking himself a failure. Pioneer James River conservationist Newton Ancarrow didn’t realize the extent of his success.

“He thought he’d lost,” says his son, Hopper Ancarrow.

Newton Ancarrow, who started out as a chemical scientist, later switched careers and became a master boat builder, starting his own company, Ancarrow Marine, which sold high-speed runabouts for more than $29,000 apiece to rich jet-setters such as shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis and the Sheik of Qatar. 

Click here to read the rest at Richmond Magazine.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?