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What’s the Story with the Egyptian Pump House in Swansboro?

Buried on an otherwise humble street, the Egyptian pump house located at 2313 Wise Street stands out. Owned by the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Works, the mausoleum-like structure is a surprising find in the austere area.

The exact spot where the pump house is located is a bit of a mashup. Stuck between a residential neighborhood to its northwest, industrial remnants of Manchester’s tobacco prowess to the southeast, and the once prominent Hull Street commercial/business corridor to the south, the area finds itself pulled in multiple directions. Frankly, it’s a miracle this old building has survived in such a good condition for its age.

Despite a lot of digging, the building does not give up its secrets easily. My friends at Virginia’s Department of Historical Resources have offered to see what they can learn about the building. While we continue to dig, does anyone know anything about the history of this cool building?

UPDATED 6/25/17 4:30 PM

According to the stone marker on the side corner of the building that we didn’t see on the first trip:

“Here rest more than one hundred South Carolina soldiers who died in the hospital in Manchester VA.

1861 – 1865

Elliot Grays Chapter

United Daughters of the Cofederacy

Erected October 6, 1939″

This would answer why it looks like a mausoleum…because it is. But why did the City decide to use it as a pump house if it is a graveyard for Confederate Civil War Dead? That seems really strange. The plot thickens…

UPDATED 6/25/17 8:30 PM

According to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the reason Confederate soldiers were buried here was because of the properties’ association with the Weisiger-Carroll house at 2408 Bainbridge Street which acted as a Civil War hospital.

 

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