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Trolley Rides (circa 1909)

May 2, 2014 8:56 am by

There are no two more fascinating bits of our lost 20th century infrastructure to me than the Marshall Street Viaduct and the city’s system of trolleys.

This undated guide to the Tri-City Trolley System (Richmond, Manchester, and Petersburg) is a neat snapshot look back at a particular moment in our city’s history. Fairmount had already been annexed from Henrico (1906), but Manchester is still shown as independent (merged in 1910). The Van Lew estate was listed as a tourist attraction (demolished 1911). Brookland Park, Highland Park, and Barton Heights are all still out in the county.

You could catch a trolley southside to the “shady sylvan retreat” of Forest Hill Park, or west to Idlewood (the “Coney Island of Richmond”), or north through the “pretty suburban town” of Barton Heights out to Lakeside Park. You could ride a trolley to Petersburg.

The brochure makes no mention, of course, of the Richmond Trolley Strike of 1903 or the the 1904 Streetcar Boycott protesting segregated seating.

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