After touring both Williamsburg and Jamestown we decided it best to take a break from history for a while (or so we thought). Since we were near the capitol city of Richmond Virginia we agreed a short road trip to the city would be in order. An added bonus to this side trip was the opportunity to meet up with a friend we knew in College Station Texas in the early 1980’s. So off we went up the interstate to explore the city of Richmond…
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was incorporated in 1742. With well over one million residents it is indeed a large city. Located along the James River and although it wasn’t the original capitol of Virginia it became the capital in 1780. It certainly had its place in history so we really didn’t take a a day off from being entertained historically after all.
The most notable event that occurred in Richmond in my eyes was the "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 by Patrick Henry. Therefore, we wanted our first stop before going into the city proper to be a stop at the site where the speech took place, St. John's Church. The church and the accompanying graveyard were certainly interesting. Edgar Allen Poe’s mother is buried there and to see grave markers of people born in the 1600’s is certainly a rare event for North Americans.
There were lots of interesting houses of various architectural designs near the church so we walked around a bit to admire them close up. Sharon also wanted a stop at Libby Hill Park for views of the skyline and to see a Richmond original, an art piece called Big Indian named "Connecticut" peeping over the roof edge of a tobacco plant. It actually had been moved from under the grandstand at a minor league baseball park to the roof of the tobacco plant. An artist named Paul DiPasquale created it in 1983. A fun sighting indeed!
Next we drove on into town and found a parking spot at a meter for $1.20 per hour and lucky for us there was an hour still left on it. There were a lot of sights on our list to see in Richmond so we donned our comfortable athletic shoes and off we went. Our first stop was State Capitol. Richmond, being the third capitol city of the state of Virginia, completed the capitol building in 1778. We had already visited the previous two capitols in Jamestown and Williamsburg. The capitol is a mix of new and old wings and visitors enter in the new wing which is actually several stories under the older section of the capitol. It was yet another interesting capitol building to visit.
Next we walked over to the new City Hall stopping however to visit the very beautiful and colorful old city hall building. The new city hall has cool observation deck from which we saw fantastic views of the city. After admiring the views we strolled through a few buildings connected to Virginia Commonwealth University.
Other interesting sights we encountered were the John Marshall House which was the home of the former Chief Justice of the United States and the former white house of the Confederate States of America. With all the hoopla going with regard to the confederate flag we found it interesting that a policeman was positioned near the entrance of the Confederate museum.
After walking quite a lot it was time for us to meet our old friend at the Capitol Ale House in Richmond. We found our way to the meeting and our friend Bland arrived shortly after we did. We shared lots of stories and laughter until it was time for him to catch his bus back home. We had so much fun we forgot to take our customary picture with friends so I guess we will just have to come back this way to visit again some day…