focuses on how to live, work and play in the Greater Richmond VA Area.

The City of Richmond, Virginia

Early History
On May 24, 1607 a small group of Englishmen sailed up the Powhatan River (now known as the James River) to the falls line that ended their upstream journey. The London Company sent this group of adventurers with a royal charter to the New World to start a settlement now known as Jamestown. They planted a wooden cross at what is believed to be near the present day 14th street bridge (map) in Richmond, Virginia. A bronze reproduction of the cross now stands on Gamble's Hill (map) at the end of 3rd Street. The location about 100 miles from the mouth of the James River was more what the London Company had wanted, but Captain Newport left the area to return to the remainder of his waiting group down river.

Years later after the Citie of Henricus was founded and colonists began spreading out in neighboring areas to begin growing tobacco and crops, the area up river began to be populated. William Byrd I was granted land in the area of the falls of the James River and was passed along to his son William Byrd II in 1704. In 1737 William founded the town of Richmond and had the town grid laid out. The name Richmond was selected because of the similarity of the James River to the Thames River back in Richmond, England as viewed from Libby Hill (map) in present day Church Hill.

In the late 1700's, Richmond area became a focal point for the second birth of the new nation as the words or war began heating up. One firebrand orator gave a now famous speech in St. John's Episcopal Church on East Broad Street in Church Hill (map). It was here on March 23, 1775 that Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech that helped propelled the colonies into the American Revolution one month later. Henry later went on to become the first Governor of Virginia in 1776 and again later in 1784. Two of the convention attendees also to become well-known included George Washington, commandeer in chief of the armies and first President of the United States and Thomas Jefferson, inventor, Governor of Virginia, author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia and the third President of the United States.

War Between the States
Richmond became the Capital of the Confederacy because in part of the strategic location of the Tredegar Ironworks (map) and the largest population of any Southern state. The foundry supplied the South with much of the metal for military artillery during 1861 and 1865. It also created the iron plating for the first Confederate ironclap ship, the CSS Virginia. Battles and skirmishes happened all around Richmond making the area a popular destination for Civil War buffs. The Capital of the Confederacy was moved to Richmond (map) from Montgomery, Alabama after the arrival of President Jefferson Davis when he came to town May 29, 1861. The building built in 1818 stands today as a museum restored to the mid-1800's splendor with many of the original furnishings from it's war-time role as home to the Davis family as well as the political and military center of the Confederacy. Davis is buried in Richmond in the Hollywood Cemetery (map) near the James River with two of his children.

Known as the city of seven hills, Richmond turned out to be the ideal place to launch an electric trolley car system, the first in the country, in January 1888. The trolleys came to replace the horse-drawn streetcars. Richmond is the intersection of two major Interstate rounts in Virginia, Interstate-64 travelling from the Atlantic Ocean to West Virginia and Interstate-95 which covers the east coast of the United States.

General Information

Today the city is surrounded by Henrico County to the west, north and east and by Chesterfield County to the south. The James River splits the city into areas known as south of the river and north of the river. The river makes exciting white water rafting possible with class I, II, III and IV rapids running for about 5 miles down the fall line. No other US city has class IV rapids running through it making the title "best urban whitewater" in the US a prized experience.

The city takes in 62.5 square miles of land and water and in 2007 the population was estimated to be over 193,000. There are also many large corporations that have a strong business presence in Richmond including: Capital One Financial Corporation, Phillip Morris USA, DuPont, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and SunTrust Banks Incorporated to name a few.


In 1887, Monument Avenue was laid out with a series of monuments at different intersections. Today this cobble-paved street is a must see for visitors coming to Richmond. The grand avenue into Richmond from the west is lined with gorgeous h
omes from the city line to the J.E.B. Stuart monument at Stuart Circle (map) where the road turns into Franklin Street, a paved road that passes by many apartment buildings, the Virginia Commonwealth University - Monroe campus (map), the famous Five Star hotel, The Jefferson, and ultimately ends at the State Capital of Virginia (map).

Current Happenings
In 2011, Virginia Commonwealth University, aka the VCU Rams were the first school to ever go from the First Four to the Final Four in the NCAA spring tournament beating such teams as Southern California, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida St., and Kansas. University of Richmond also made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 by beating Morehead St. and Vanderbilt giving Richmond a new nickname of Hoopstown and creating a new kind of March Madness in the greater Richmond area.

Richmond was also host to the annual Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K on April 2, 2011 where a record 41,314 registrants signed up to take on the first race of the year in downtown Richmond. The top finisher was 25 year old Julius Kogo from Kenya with a time of 29:02. In second place was Tesfaye Dube of Ethiopia (29:07) and Abiyot Endale of Ethiopia (29:18) secured the third place spot. Megan Wright from Canada grabbed the top spot for women with a time of 33:12. The SunTrust Richmond Marathon known as America's Friendliest Marathon will be held on November 12, 2011. The Richmond marathon was named by Runner's World magazine as a "Must Do" marathon in 2005 and in 2009 and is a Boston Marathon qualifier.

As Richmond was making a bigger name for itself in sports, it was announced that the 13th XTERRA East Championship would remain in Richmond with its new sponsor Luck Stone Corporation. Richmond provides a unique urban setting in and around the scenic James River during the event held June 10 - 12, 2011.


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Richmond  |  Henrico County  |  Chesterfield County  |  Hanover County  |  Charles City County
Goocland County Powhatan County