"On the Rappahannock" Tappahannock by grandmaR

Tappahannock Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 28 photos

Tappahannock which is the principle town and county seat of Essex County, dates back to a 17th century port settlement. It is right on the Rappahannock River - houses which face the highway have the river in their back yard. Rappahannock means "rise and fall" of water, so Tappahannock, became "town on the rise and fall of water"

I first bacame a visitor to Tappahannock when I would drive up Route 17 from where we would drive from our home in Norfolk to visit our parents in the Baltimore area. It was a long drive which took most of the day, and virtually the only places to stop and eat were Lowery's in Tappahannock, a corn dog stand in Glouster Court House, and La Plata across the Potomac in Maryland.

The hospital, retirement home and Lowery's Restaurant are among the principal employers in the town. It is on US Routes 17 and 360.

Captain John Smith met a frosty reception from the local inhabitants in 1607 here in Tappahannock on his first visit. He was not allowed to come ashore and had to retreat to his ship.

In 1645 Bartholomew Hoskins patented the Tappahannock site, which became known, at various times as Hobbs His Hole, Hobb's Hole, the short-lived New Plymouth, and finally the Indian name Tappahannock. In 1682, Jacob Hobbs established a trading post in the vicinity of present day Tappahannock. The town was comprised of 50 acres divided into half acre squares.

Now it is still one of the main towns between Port Royal on US 301 and the Hampton Roads area. Tappahannock has a historic district and there are Saturday walking tours.

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