Recently the Nomads visited a city older than our Union that has historical significance. Since we are currently in the State of Virginia, this description could be one of many cities. This time we visited the Capital of Virginia, Richmond.
We arrived in the afternoon and headed straight to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. With our eldest Nomad son, Noah, being a writer, we had to stop by. More on this stop in a follow-up post. Afterwards, we headed towards the Canal Walk which runs along the James River, the Haxall Canal and the Kanawha Canal. This is a stretch of road that runs into downtown Richmond and it is a little over a mile long.
On our way to the Canal Walk, we drove in front of a peculiar mix of buildings and warehouses. The warehouses looked very old and the buildings in between them seemed very upscale. As I said, peculiar. Come to find out this is called Tobacco Row, a collection of tobacco warehouses and cigarette factories with lofts and apartments mixed in. It was interesting to say the least.
We arrived at the Canal Walk, and due to the amount of day light we estimated that we had left, we decided to drive along the Canal Walk. It is an interesting drive, but it is not something I would make a special trip to Richmond to do.
When we reached 17th Street, we turned away from the canal, turned left on Main Street and headed toward the Capitol Building. Capitol Building in Richmond was designed by Thomas Jefferson. When we pulled up we gave it a collective “wow.”
We went on a Saturday and I would recommend that you try to go on the weekend. There is parking right in front of the Capitol Building, along Bank St between 12th and 19th. The parking is time limited during the weekday but has no such limits on the weekend. Additionally, the public entrance to the Capitol Building is at ground level on Bank St and it runs underground to the Capitol.
The outside of the Capitol Building reminded us of a smaller version of The White House. It sat on a hill and appeared to be a rather brilliant white against all of the surroundings. The grounds were filled with monuments and statues. On the south side of the grounds is where the Governor’s Mansion is located. And on the edge of the grounds were government buildings of all shapes and sizes.
After exploring the grounds and the surrounding buildings, I had to visit one more place before daylight was lost. So we jumped into Ebony and headed to St. John’s Church. What is so significant about St. John’s Church? Glad you asked.
St. John’s Church is the location where Patrick Henry, one of the Founding Fathers, gave his famous speech that fanned the flames and created a roaring fire that led to the Revolutionary War. On the front steps of St. John’s Church is where he delivered a rather lengthy speech that ended with the following:
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
That’s where “Give me liberty or give me death” came from. As night fell upon us there was not much else that we could see. We visited a local eatery and had a great meal. When we departed we decided to go down Monument Row (a street with monuments about every block). We could see them faintly by street light, but not well enough to truly enjoy them.
With only seeing a fraction of Richmond’s sites, we plan on returning to see more of it. Next time we’ll leave earlier so we have more daylight. You can expect a “Capital of Virginia Continued” post in the future. If you have any “must see” sights in Richmond, leave them in the comments below. Safe Travels.