Historic Village of Bensley Historical

Historic Village of Bensley Historical (HM1WM8)

Location: Richmond, VA 23234 Chesterfield County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 26.269', W 77° 26.3068242'

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Inscription

circa 1909

—Falling Creek Ironworks Park —

Located at this site was the beginning of one of the earliest residential communities in Chesterfield County.

Historic Village Of Bensley

Created by Albert Bensley in 1909, the Village of Bensley was marketed as a modem, convenient streetcar suburb — only 20 minutes from Richmond on the electric Interurban line. This was one of the first planned communities in the county. It was unnecessary to own an automobile to enjoy suburban life in Bensley. It offered homeowners an affordable residential setting situated at a "beautiful and healthful elevation overlooking the James" complete with electricity, pure Chesterfield water, sewer facilities and high speed interurban railway access.

During summer months, Bensley residents rode the streetcars to the Bellwood picnic grove and to amusement parks including Petersburg Lakemont Park and Richmond's Forest Hill Park.

The trolley also provided city dwellers an opportunity to escape the heat by riding the electric line to the old Falling Creek swimming hole and campsites at the Village of Bensley. Families from Richmond, Manchester and Petersburg traveled to Bensley on afternoon trolley cars, camped out, and returned to town on one of the early morning cars. This electric line was part of the charm of Bensley but was abandoned in
the 1930s as the automobile became more prevalent. Albert Bensley, who also owned a lumber mill, was selling built homes on lots of up to 4 acres. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, he bought a plantation of 430 acres called Chester Hill.

Bensley developed the acreage surrounding the plantation home into Bensley village. Notable historic features of the Bensley community are the Falling Creek Ironworks and Wayside Park, (Virginia's first state wayside), where the famous double-arched bridge designed by Claudius Crozet and completed in 1828 was once part of the Manchester-Petersburg turnpike. The turnpike was designed in 1816 and was a leading engineering design — it was one of the first of the state highway system.

(captions)
Bensley Village Map
The William Stubbs home is the second oldest home in Bensley built in 1905. It has remained within the family and was operated as a tourist home for many years. The home was occupied by David Walker, former Chesterfield County treasurer and his son H.B. Walker, former commissioner of revenue.
The Glenconner home originally called Chester Hill, was built in 1843 and is the oldest home in Bensley. It was designated as a Historic Landmark in 1988.
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Details
HM NumberHM1WM8
Tags
Year Placed2016
Placed ByFalling Creek Ironworks Foundation, Chesterfield Heritage Alliance
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, January 26th, 2017 at 9:01am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31N E 166021 N 0
Decimal Degrees37.43781667, -77.43844707
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 26.269', W 77° 26.3068242'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 26' 16.14" N, 77° 26' 18.409452" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6305-6399 US-301, Richmond VA 23234, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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