Richmond is an American city that is the capital of Virginia. It covers an area of sixty two square miles and has a population of over two hundred thousand residents. Richmond is situated at the intersections of I-64 and I-95, and is surrounded by I-288 and I-295. The main economic activities of the city include government, finance and law with several noteworthy banking and legal firms located in the downtown section of the city. Richmond is home to the U.S Court of Appeals for the fourth circuit, one of the U.S Court of Appeals, and the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank. There are also thirteen Fortune 1000 companies and nine Fortune 500 companies who have headquarters in the city.
Up until the seventeenth century, the area on which Richmond is located was inhabited by the Powhatan tribe and they had their capital on a hill over the falls of the James. After the settlement of a colony of Jamestown Island, an English exploratory party led by Captain Christopher Newport learned of the location of the Powhatan capital. Captain Newport decided to assist the Powhatans with the defense of their capital against the Siouan Monocan tribe. The next day, the captain shared some of his ship’s goods, with Parahunt, and learned all that he could of the local geography and politics. The captain than planted a cross that read Jacobus Rex 1607, a sign declaring that the country now belonged to James I of England. He told the Powhatan however, that it was a symbol of his alliance with their people. By the eighteenth century, the population of Richmond was still below two hundred residents. In 1730, the Warehouse Act was passed by the Virginia House of Burgesses requiring inspectors to grade tobacco at several different location. This caused an increase in development at the Falls of the James. In 1737, the street plan of the city was laid out and it was named Richmond after Richmond, England. In 1780, the state capital of Virginia was moved to Richmond. A year later, Richmond was burned by British troops on order of Benedict Arnold. But, Richmond quickly rebounded and a year later was incorporated as a city.
Today, Richmond has a thriving tourist industry that is driven by the city’s art community and its many historical landmarks and attractions. A popular attraction in the city is Hollywood Cemetery. This cemetery is located on South Cherry Street in the city and is recognizable by its many hills and path that overlook the James River. It was founded in 1849 and was designed in a rural garden style with many holly trees lining the property. Twenty years later, a ninety foot high granite pyramid was built to honor the eighteen thousand soldiers of the Confederate Army that are buried there. This cemetery is a popular attraction among tourists and ghost hunters alike. Buried here are many notable people which include Benjamin Barrett, James Branch Cabell, Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, Jefferson Davis, Richard B. Garnett, Ellen Glasgow, Edward Johnson, Fitzhugh Lee, Matthew Fontaine Maury, James Monroe, John Pegram, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William Alexander Smith, Reuben Lindsay Walker and Henry A. Wise.
Another popular attraction in Richmond is the Science Museum of Virginia. This museum was founded in 1910 as the ‘State Museum’ and over the course of many years, natural history specimens from a number of several State agencies were added to its collection. The General Assembly endorsed the creation of an official science museum in 1943, but the pressing events of World War II prevented them from taking further action on the issue. The measure wouldn’t be placed into action until 1970 when the Science Museum of Virginia was finally founded. The key features of the museum include an aquarium and various displays such as the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway steam locomotive, Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad business car and the Aluminaut submarine. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is another key attraction in the city of Richmond. This garden is located on thirty acres of land on the North side of the city. Key features of the garden include the Healing Garden, Bloemendaal House, Children’s Garden, English Garden and the Sunken Garden.
Located at Shields Lake Drive is Maymont Park. Maymont Park is a Victorian estate that is situated on a hundred acres of land and consist of an arboretum, a nature center, petting zoo (Maymont Children’s Farm), Maymont Mansion, historic house museum, native wildlife exhibits and gardens. The gardens consist of Japanese gardens, an Italian garden, waterfalls and plenty of gazebos and pavilions. The arboretum is from the early twentieth century and contains over two hundred different species of trees including a Tilia europea, Cedrus atlantica, Parrotia persica and Cryptomeria japonica. The petting zoo contains many different types of farm animals, but the park also has a collection of animals that are native to Virginia. These include bald eagles, black bears, foxes and bobcats. Other animals here include deer, American Bison, elk and peacocks.
Other popular attractions in Richmond include the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Virginia Capitol Building, Museum and White House of the Confederacy, Agecroft Hall, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Virginia Historical Society, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Virginia Holocaust Museum, Monument Avenue, Dogwood Dell, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Meadow Farm Museum, Tredegar Iron Works, James River, Tuckahoe Plantation, Visual Art Studio, Farmer’s Market, Shockhoe Slip Historic District, American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, Virginia Union University, Wilton House, Third Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, Virginia Fire & Police Museum, Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum, Virginia War Memorial, Beth Ahabah Museum and Archive, City Hall Observation Deck, Main Street Beer Co. Brewery, Byrd Theater, Annabel Lee Riverboat, Old Dominion Railway Museum, The Westhampton Theater, Valentine Richmond History Center, Jefferson Hotel, Virginia Aviation Museum, Hippodrome Theater, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Dinwiddie and Pamplin Historical Park, Greater Richmond Convention Centre and the Elk’s Lodge.