Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Werowocomoco is located on the York River in Gloucester County, Virginia (Figure 1). Historical documents identified Werowocomoco as the headquarters of Powhatan, the Algonquian political and spiritual leader when the English founded Jamestown in 1607. For many years, the exact location of the site was unknown; however, in 2003, archeological digs at the site on the York River between Leigh and Bland Creeks confirmed the location. The site has been occupied by Native Americans since 8,000 before the common era (BCE) and is one of the most important Native American sites in the nation.

In 2016, subsequent to the completion of the most recent shoreline stabilization project, the 264 acre Werowocomoco site came under the protection of the National Park Service (Figure 1). Presently, the site is part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Goals for the property include making it available for appropriate public use while preserving its historical integrity. The property has almost two miles of open water tidal shoreline along Leigh Creek, the York River, and Bland Creek. Shoreline erosion, historically, is greater along the more open reaches of the York River, but the marshes on either end of the site are also eroding quickly. Several sections of the York River shoreline are protected with living shoreline systems and a revetment along the York River in front of the main house.



Shoreline management, Werowocomoco

Publication Statement

Prepared for National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Park Service.