Yes, it’s true. I am fascinated by the bridges that connect Manchester and Richmond. Recently I proposed a potential different and better use for the Mayo Bridge taking it back to its original roots. Understanding the history of these bridges and their construction is both fascinating and informative.
The featured image is of The Mayo Bridge during it’s construction in 1912 as viewed from Manchester on the eastern side. The next photograph shown below is of the Manchester Bridge (or 9th Street Bridge) captured during its construction in 1970. The third image is of the Richmond-Petersburg Railroad Bridge from “possibly 1871” with an eerie silhouette of an onlooker in the frame. Lastly, the final photograph is of the Dunlop Flour Mills and the rickety precursor to the current Mayo Bridge.
Here is to hoping we repurpose some of these Bridges and use them to not only connect Manchester and Richmond for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and trains alike, but also bring us closer to RVA’s greatest asset-The James River.
History of the Dunlop Flour Mills according to The Valentine:
“Built in 1853, the Dunlop Flour Mills operated adjacent to the southern end of Mayo’s Bridge and, until 1866, were the largest of their kind in the world. These, along with the Gallego and Haxall mills that operated on the Richmond side of the river, made the region a flour manufacturing powerhouse.
In 1936, the company became the Dixie-Portland Flour Company, which operated until a devastating fire destroyed much of the complex. Today, Southern States Cooperative occupies the site, which includes two original Dunlop buildings.”
Featured Image: Mayo Bridge, Richmond. Date: August 22, 1912. Photographer: Huestis P. Cook. Citation: Cook Collection, Valentine Richmond History Center.