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The Park with a Rich Past

In 1908, the publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch died. The next year, Joseph Bryan’s widow bought a 262-acre estate called Rosewood and gave it to the City of Richmond to establish a free public park called Bryan Park in her…

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Creek Beneath the Streets

The original 1737 layout of Richmond placed the heart of the city in a verdant valley.  This valley was named after the creek that formed it. The Powhatans called the creek Shacahocan – meaning stone – for the rocky outcropping…

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Women’s Rights in Virginia

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. In 1923, Alice Paul (1885 -1977), suffragist, feminist, and one of the primary strategists for the…

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Center of Retail Attention

For much of Richmond’s history, all travel between Williamsburg and Charlottesville was dependent on one downtown street. Broad Street, named H Street until 1844, was a commercial hub for Richmonders and travelers alike all year long. Through the centuries, nearly everything…

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Richmond’s Education History

Before the city appropriated funds for the secondary education of African American children, that instruction was given at the Colored Normal School. Historically, “normal schools” trained teachers of all races. Founded in 1865 with the help of Freedmen’s Bureau funds,…

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Richmond’s History Maker

In 1899, the Independent Order of St. Luke was teetering toward bankruptcy. A benevolent society that provided burial insurance for members of Richmond’s African American community, the organization had just a thousand members and a little over thirty dollars in its…

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Making History on the Rocks

From shipping and hydropower to fishing, boating, and bathing (yes, the traditional kind!), early life in Richmond revolved around the James River. Although the river was the primary reason for the city’s founding, by the mid-twentieth century, it had become…

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History of Healthcare in Richmond

In 1865, a Richmond society teenager named Mary Tinsley Greenhow fell off her horse. As a result, she was paralyzed and required constant care. And although her family could afford the round-the-clock care she needed, Greenhow became preoccupied with those…

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