|The motorcade that led the last trolleys out of Richmond Nov 1949|
Here are 5 interesting things about Richmond's trolleys.
1. The trolley system was designed by Frank Julian Sprague (1857-1934). He showed his potential for math and science in high school so his principal recommended he could get a free engineering degree if he went to West Point. By mistake he took the entrance exam for Annapolis so he ended up in the Navy.
|700 E Franklin St, Richmond, VA, VCU Library|
3. The building that still stands at 700 E Franklin St. was originally build as The Railway & Power Building. The Railway & Power Company ran and powered the trolleys. The company became VEPCO which became Dominion Power that still powers VA and beyond. In 1913, when the 12 story building was built, it had decorative iron pipes on the roof's parapets that released stream, a pretty dramatic effect.
4. The shell of a building at the foot of 12th St, just past the Christopher Newport Cross on Richmond's Canal Walk was built after 1898 when the demand for power from the trolleys, homes and industry increased. Its hexagonal chimney for the boilers is said to be the first poured concrete industrial stack in the country. The former hydroelectric plant is getting a make over by artist for the first annual RVA Street Art Festival, April 12-15, 2012.
|The Richmond Trolley Map in 1930, thanks to Church Hill People's News|
The info for this post comes from Rails in Richmond, by Carlton Norris McKenney.
**In the sake of disclosure I do work for a sister company of Richmond Trolley Company.
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