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Scenes of Old Richmond, Virginia

VirginiaThe fine city of Richmond, Virginia dates back to the early 1700s. A region known in those early years for coal mining and its fine agriculture had the city of Richmond developed by Colonel William Byrd II in 1737. He selected the city’s name of Richmond for the area of Richmond, England where the Thames River flows through it just as the James River flows in Richmond, Virginia.

The city has a couple nicknames it is known by. One is River City and the other is The Capital of the South. It served as a capital city, twice. Once when a change was made in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War from Williamsburg, VA to Richmond and secondly when it was the Confederate States of America’s capital city from 1861 to 1865.

With such a long and magnificent history many people can find ancestral ties to the city of Richmond. So to learn more about the city and to especially view some of the vintage photos of the city, the web site Richmond History – Hello Richmond, has a small collection of images of the city. Some date from 1863 to 1915.

This photo archive is divided into three sections. There are buildings of Richmond, about 15 in the collection.  Then there are about 7 panoramic views of old Richmond.  Lastly, there are people and places of Richmond with about 4 images. Each of the thumbnail images has a description and time period for each.  By clicking onto a thumbnail view, the photo can be made larger.

One of the more interesting images is of Libby Prison, a prison which held Union prisoners during the Civil War.  This prison as well as Belle Isle Prison on an island in the James River in Richmond witnessed the death and suffering of many Union soldiers.

A most interesting photo site available online is Richmond Then and Now. Here are many images from Richmond’s past and what that same place, park, building or locations looks like in more recent years.  Some examples include what Main St. and 14th St. in the heart of Richmond looked like in April 1865 and what the same location looks like in 2003. Yet, not all the images represent over a hundred years of difference.  There are images of Broad St. and Staples Mills Road in 1955 and the same place in 2002. There is the Lexington Hotel at 12th and Main St. in 1955 and then in 2002.

Some of the images from years ago are actual photos and others from postcards, some which were photos and others were illustrations. Overall, a great method to truly get a feel for the Richmond, especially for those with ancestors from Richmond or surrounding areas.

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