Col. John Pryor of VA: An Engineer?

I was reading an old article about canal work on the James River. It mentioned a Pryor so I became interested in the Maiden’s Adventure Dam.  There’s an old book I found on Google Books– 3rd Annual Report of President to the Stockholders of the James River in Kanawha Company, Together With the Proceedings of the Stockholders at Their Third Annual Meeting in December 1837 (see book). I know, catchy title! It mentions the Maiden’s Adventure Dam several times as a project attached to their company.

I did some digging to see where this place is located…

Maidens is a small unincorporated community in Goochland County, Virginia, United States. Sited on the north side of the James River, it is currently located on Maidens Rd. just south of the intersection of State Route 6.,_Virginia

Maiden’s Adventure Dam. 21. At mile 37, on river left, is the Town of. Maiden’s. The town has a general store. The town was originally called Maiden’s Adventure after a folktale of a young girl who crossed the river at this point to rescue her lover from marauding Native Americans. 22. At mile 37.1 is the U.S. Route 522 Bridge.

There’s a historical marker that explains the construction that took place at this location:

This area was most likely first named for “Maiden’s Adventure Farm,” a nearby estate mentioned in the 1755 will of John Fleming. By 1824, construction of the James River and Kanawha Canal reached Maidens Adventure.In 1825 the Maidens Adventure Dam was built to raise the water levels of the James River. Cliffs along the upper side of the James prevented building a towpath and canal. The Dam created a pond some four miles long. The towpath followed the shore line along the upper side of the pond.

So the article that mentions a Pryor was a later stockholders report: James River in Kennewick Company. Report of the President, At the Annual Meeting of the Stockholders, December 22nd 1840. Published in the Richmond Enquirer 16th March 1841, page 1 and 2

These examinations, together with the accompanying charts, where originally intended to be conducted by Mr. Lake, under the instructions of the chief engineer, but by reason of the ill-health a both these officers, they ultimately devolved upon Col. John Pryor, one of the resident engineers, and a party of assistants. The whole subject of these connections along with a letter from Judge Wright and Mr. Gill, to the board of directors, and the report, estimates and charts of Colonel Pryor, are respectfully referred to the consideration of the stockholders.

There’s actually a John Pryor on the 1840 census who was recorded as “Col”. That’s the John C Pryor in Elizabeth City, VA.