Old Westham Bridge

Old Westham Bridge (HMFV7)

Location: Richmond, VA 23235
Country: United States of America

N 37° 33.577', W 77° 32.793'

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Inscription
The road ahead once led to a stone and steel bridge that connected the 20th century community of Southampton behind you with the colonial village of Westham on the north shore. Prior to its construction, the closest car link between Henrico and Chesterfield was over the old Ninth Street Bridge in downtown Richmond. This was over a dozen miles out of the way on bumpy dirt roads.

The bridge originally charged a fee. The toll collector lived in a cottage at the north end of the bridge - and he had a reputation for binge drinking. One day he got violently drunk and was last seen floating down the river! That was the end of the tolls.

The bridge was built with trolley tracks down the middle. Richmond had the first electric trolley system in the nation and it was expected that the route would reach here. It did not and the tracks were removed.

Observe the narrowness of the road. The bridge was designed to accommodate the two-way traffic of 1910 era cars. The wider cars of the 1930s and 1940s made passing on the bridge a hair-raising stunt!

In the 1800s, a ferry operated near this spot. In 1911 the sturdy but low Westham Bridge was built. By mid century it was considered obsolete because the approach roads at both ends went under water during floods.

In 1950 the Huguenot Bridge was built. (It is to your right but out of sight). It is higher and longer and not affected by floods. It is also at the end of its life span and will be replaced soon.

James River Park System Department of Parks Recreation and Community Facilities

Sign donated by the James River Park Fund
Details
HM NumberHMFV7
Tags
Placed ByJames River Park Fund
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 11:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 275070 N 4160003
Decimal Degrees37.55961667, -77.54655000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 33.577', W 77° 32.793'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 33' 34.62" N, 77° 32' 47.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8600-8628 Riverside Dr, Richmond VA 23235, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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