Richmond, Virginia is the fourth largest city in the state, and the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Richmond Metropolitan Area has a population of over 1.2 million, and Richmond holds a central place in America's colonial history.
Richmond was founded in 1607 by English settlers Christopher Newport and John Smith on a site was previously inhabited by the Powhatan Native Americans. It was named after Richmond-upon-Thames, UK by William Byrd II.
Richmond remained a simple trading post for furs, hides, and tobacco until 1742, when it became a city, later becoming the state capital in 1782.
During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the capital of the Confederacy. When the Northern Army invaded Richmond, the fleeing Confederate government set fire to the city’s munitions stores and government records, which resulted in most of the city being burned.
Today, Richmond is a heavily populated and prosperous city with growing businesses, entertainments, and nightlife.
Further Information (off-site links)
Historic Timeline of Richmond, London and Richmond, Virginia:
Maymont Park: A wealthy landowner donated his estate to the city and Richmond turned it into one of the most beautiful urban parks in the nation. Fountains, Italianate gardens and a Japanese tea garden are a pleasure to walk through. The nature centre here is all-encompassing and free, and its exhibits on Virginia Wildlife include two otters that are glad to show off for visitors. Grey foxes, red-tailed hawks, and other exhibits are located outside. Children like the farm area where sheep, lambs, chickens, and other sundry animals are exhibited.
The Tredegar Iron Works, American Civil War Centre, Richmond National Battlefield Headquarters at Tredegar, 490 Tredegar Street
Museum of the Confederacy, 1201 East Clay Street at 12th Street: The Museum is looking to expand into a state-wide system of museums, while maintaining its headquarters in Richmond. It contains the largest collection of Confederate records, artefacts and other treasures from the period. The Museum also maintains and gives tours of the White House of the Confederacy.
The White House of the Confederacy, East Clay and 12th Street: This has been restored to reflect its use as the executive mansion of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Open to the public with regularly scheduled guided tours that are arranged and given by the Museum of the Confederacy.
Hollywood Cemetery, 412 South Cherry Street: Located between the neighbourhoods of Oregon Hill and Randolph on a bluff overlooking the James River, Presidents Tyler and Monroe have their final resting places here. So does the locally renowned Jefferson Davis, and it’s worth the trip through winding roads to see reverent Southerners laying flags on his grave. Also in the cemetery are Confederate Generals George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart and local authors James Branch Cabell and Ellen Glasgow. The lines of small headstones marking the mass graves of Confederate dead is sobering and gratifying.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue: An oasis of year-round beauty and interest, the Garden has more than a dozen themed areas including a Rose Garden, a Healing Garden, Asian Valley, Historic Bloemendaal House, a Victorian-style garden and a Children’s Garden – complete with wheelchair accessible Tree House and Water Play. The glass Conservatory is the only one of its kind in the mid-Atlantic. The Garden Shop offers distinctive items; dining is available in the Garden Café and Tea House. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a place to learn about plants, to marvel at nature, to relax, to take gardening classes, or to have a wedding or a business meeting. A wide variety of experiences are offered through its diverse gardens and facilities. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is consistently one of the most visited attractions in the Richmond area.