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Archive for the ‘Richmond’ Category

Richmond is built upon an area originally used by the native Powhattan tribe and they built their own capitol here, also known as Powhattan. The English arrived and established Jamestown close to the area but the land upon which Richmond is built always held an attraction – it was the highest navigable point upriver before the rapids prevented navigation and was a strategic point for both defense and trade.

Enter William Byrd I, an Englishman from Shadwell in the darkest depths of East London but in 1673, he was granted lands around the falls on the James River. He established himself quickly and by hard work, using and building on his already-envious Indian trade connections. In 1704, his son, William Byrd II, inherited the lands and business and continued in his father’s footsteps.

The enterprise was highly successful and in 1737, Richmond was established at the Falls of the James River. The town was named after Richmond in England (itself now a part of London), which is situated on the River Thames – Byrd felt that the view of the James River was very similar to that of the Thames in London, hence the name; Richmond. By 1742, the town layout was completed and Richmond was incorporated in 1742.

The Byrd dynasty was firmly established by dint of fortune and hard work in the founding of the city and interweaving themselves into the trading and political fabric of society. A testament to how closely the Byrd family tied themselves to the machinery of the state is epitomized by the Byrd Organization, known also simply as “the Organization”. This was the vehicle used by Harry F. Byrd, himself a US Senator and a Governor of Virginia active in the first half of the 20th Century.

Harry Byrd established himself politically by engaging with the five main offices in principal counties of the state – the Sheriff, Clerk of the Court, Commonwealth Attorney, County Treasurer and Commissioner of Revenue. It was these “constitutionally elected” offices who effectively controlled which candidates would stand for election and by drawing these officials into Byrd’s political orbit, it became impossible for any candidate to gain election in Virginia without the “nod” from Harry Byrd. Although succeeded by his son as State Senator, the Organization effectively had its grip on state politics broken in the 1960’s over issues such as racial desegregation and disenchanted voters turning to liberalism.

Richmond today is littered with landmarks to the Byrd family and their influence upon the city. Probably the most enjoyable is the Byrd Theater on Cary Street. Providing $1 movie tickets and old style film-going experience in a faithfully renovated old time theater, you can enjoy a real treat on Saturday’s when the giant Wurlitzer organ is played before the performance. For those prepared to drive a while, perhaps the most fitting monument to the influence of the Byrd family is to be seen in the Shenandoah National Park where one of the three visitor centers is named after Harry F. Byrd himself.

Shell Harris, President, Big Oak, a SEO company in Richmond, VA.

photo by theloushe

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On May 17, 1607 an expedition of English explorers landed on the shores of Virginia after a charter was granted to the “Virginia Company” by King James the First.  In keeping with the principals established under Queen Elizabeth the First, the English immediately “claimed” the land and set about renaming everything in sight, much to the considerable annoyance of the local Algonquin native Americans, who duly commenced a sporadic form of guerilla warfare with the adventurous English settlers.

“Ye large rivere”,  used by the English because it had such a deep and steep draught which allowed their ship to be moored close to shore, so close they could tie mooring lines to trees, provided an ideal and secluded base.  Seclusion was necessary as the rival Spaniards sought to exercise control over the entire New World despite the best efforts of the competing French and British.  If discovered, the embryonic settlement, named Jamestown on the James River, both named after the English king, would be assaulted and destroyed. (more…)

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Richmond, VA Photograph of Needing a Traditional Procession, uploaded originally by Weingart Dude

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. Dedicated in 1906, It is the only cathedral in the world built with the contribution of just one person, Thomas Fortune Ryan.

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Richmond, VA Photograph of Richmond Kickers 4-25, uploaded originally by SCQphotos

Founded in 1993, the Richmond Kickers are in the USL Second Division and play in the University of Richmond Stadium. Currently, they are coached by Leigh Cowlishaw.

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Richmond, VA Photograph of Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, uploaded originally by donwest48

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens have many attractions beyond their many exquisite gardens, many of which are dedicated in honor of their patrons, such as the Conservatory and the The Education and Library Complex.

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Richmond, VA Photograph of Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, uploaded originally by donwest48

A new family of butterflies being released into the conservatory during the Butterflies Live event that happens from May 22 until October 11. There are over 24 species of butterflies to be observed flitting about during sunny days and roosting during cloudy days.

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Richmond, VA Photograph of West End Farmers Market – Richmond (Henrico), uploaded originally by donwest48

The West End Farmers Market is located at Gayton and Ridgefield, and is home to many local farmers’ wares on Wednesdays and Saturdays, if the weather cooperates. Fruits, vegetables, pies, jams, meats, jewelery, iron works and yarn are just a few of the many items that are for sale.

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