Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Stingray Point- The Beginning

This is Captain John Smith.
I'm sure you've heard some version of his story-
settled Jamestown, got in a fight with Powhatan and his Native American posse 
and was saved by Pocahontas Powhatan's daughter who was around 12-13 years old at the time.
Contrary to Disney, Capt John and Pocahontas were not in love.
She ended up marrying  John Rolf and dying of smallpox.
But that isn't the story I want to tell.

Replica of the Explorer at the Holly Point Nature Center
On July 17, 1608
Captain John Smith and his crew aboard the shallop Explorer
ran aground at the mouth of the Rappahannock River.
As they waited for the tide to come in, Smith and his men began fishing in the shallows
spearing fish with their swords.
Captain Smith speared a stingray and was struck in the wrist by the ray's barb.
It was a painful wound,
and John Smith, certain he had been mortally wounded
had his crew prepare his grave on the nearby island.
Captain Smith did not die.
He recovered and was able to eat the offending ray for dinner.
He named the nearby isle Stingray Point.
The name is still used today.

There are some who thought that the area in question was actually the nearby island called Gwynn's Island which can be seen from the shore of what is called Stingray Point.
However, after much research into Captain John Smith's logs,
 it has been determined that the area where this took place
was actually a small atoll near the area where the
 Stingray Point Lighthouse once stood.


  1. When I was looking into Smith Island, I read that it was originally named the Russel Island(s) after the doctor who helped Capt. Jo-Smith post-stingray incident.

    I've always loved Stingray Point.