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Why Were the Manchester Street Names Changed?

I have an old Manchester map hanging on the wall of my office. The map is a cropped section of a larger Richmond map that is commonly referred to as the “Beers Map” or more accurately the F.W. Beers Map of 1876. My framed map is too small to make out the street names, but large enough for me to notice that some of the names looked odd.

I found a larger version of the Beers map online and was able to zoom in. What I noticed is that Manchester’s numbered streets used to have additional names to complement the numbers:

1st or Reed St., 2nd or Ludlow St., 3rd or Wadsworth St., 4th or Summers St., 5th or Jackson St., 6th or Biddle St., 7th or Barney St., 8th or Allen St., 9th or Burroughs St., 10th or Blakley St., 11th or Warrington St., 12th or Lawrence St., 13th or Jones St., 14th or Harrison St., 15th or Jefferson St., 16th or Adams St., 17th or Clay St., 18th or Marshall St, 19th or Pocahontas St.

I found another 1889 map, and it still showed the same dual street names for Manchester. This second map is referred to as the Baist Atlas of Richmond, VA (1889), and it is part of the VCU Libraries Digital Collection.

I am guessing that the dual street names were dropped since the numbered system was easier to navigate. If there was a different reason, I haven’t been able to find it. Does anyone know for sure why the change was made and when it occurred? Perhaps the switch was made in 1910 when Manchester consolidated with the City of Richmond?

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46 thoughts on “Why Were the Manchester Street Names Changed?

  1. Did you know the named streets such as Porter, Bainbridge, Semmes and such were War of 1812 Navy officers that served on the Great lakes. Boy do I hope this statement is right.

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