The River Road of Sand, Part 1: A Survey of the New by beautymountainstudio published on 2012-09-24T23:38:33Z Today we hear a story about the man who put the Marshall in Marshall University. Chief Justice John Marshall, that is. Two hundred years ago this September, he, along with a group of elite commissioners and a crew of hard-working boatmen, set off on a river expedition to survey a canal route over the Allegheny Mountains. Their month-long journey took them from Lynchburg, VA, all the way to Kanawha Falls in present day Fayette County, WV. This year, a crew from Virginia retraced that route on a boat they built themselves, called a bateau. Their long, flat-bottomed wooden boat, The Mary Marshall, is similar to those poled by boatmen up and down the waterways of western Virginia during Marshall’s era, and all the way into the 1920s. Before the interstate, before the railroad, there was the bateau. Producer Catherine Moore has this first installment in a three-part series, called “The River Road of Sand,” about the history of bateau in West Virginia.