American Gooch – Part 1

The Complete Story of the American Gooch

From their Discovery by Early Jamestown Settlers

Through their tragic disappearance.

To today’s battle over whether they should be cloned from fossil remains. 

Part 1

The Untold American Story

Between Charlottesville and Richmond, beside the James River, in the heart of Central Virginia, lies the quiet County of Goochland, Virginia, all that remains of a once thriving, ecologically renewable economy, with high value added and the potential for world trade.

The sudden, tragic disappearance of the American Gooch, how it resulted in the destruction of the nascent industry, and thereby shaped the early years in the Colonies, is a story rarely told. Some say that the Slave based Cotton economy of the south might not have developed, had herds of Gooch lived and prospered.

Mutton Busting at Annual Goochday Celbration

Discovery - Summer 1608

Soon after the founding of Jamestown in 1607, a small group of settlers struck out along the James river into Central Virginia. In a fertile, partly flooded, hollow beside the river, they first came upon a calm and mild creature about the size of a large sheep, which appears to have an elongated neck, not unlike a Llama.

Needing a place to stay the night, the settlers chose a patch of dry high ground in a protected meadow, built a small fire and bedded down, while the Gooch grazed contentedly nearby. The next morning, as the small party awoke with the sun, they saw Gooch everywhere, lying in the cool morning dew, facing toward their new visitors as if curious.

One of the explorers removed a burnt stub of charcoal from the embers of the fire and started to draw the closest of the unusual animals as it lay in the wet grass. His sketch would be the only thing they would take with them back to Jamestown to help describe their discovery.

The Gooch & Goochland's First Settlers

They were wild, to be certain, but using techniques learned from Native Americans, early settlers struck up a mutually beneficial relationship through which both Settler and Animal prospered.

To be continued …

One Response to American Gooch – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Sunday Shorts for July 10, 2011 | participle

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