Monday, June 11, 2007

Saturday Continuation

After leaving Dixie Days we headed for Richmond and the Richmond Battlefield National Park. This Park is composed of quite a few sites scattered outside and inside of the City. We'd already been to Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill though there are a couple of others from the seven days war and the defense of Richmond which was the Confederate Capitol (and gotten our stamps in our National Park passports) so we headed for the Tredeger Iron Works.
The iron works functioned from about 1830 through the 1950's, starting it's life as a grain mill, and then manufacturing cut nails and railroad spikes. During the War between the States it manufactured cannon, shot, and anything else that was needed for the war effort. When Richmond fell the majority of the Iron Works was burned by the retreating Confederates, but it was rebuilt and continued to manufacture iron products until about 1957. It also made the cast iron building fronts so popular during the post war days both in Richmond and Baltimore. The only building that was rebuilt was this one, which houses the National Park Visitor Center. We all had good talks with the rangers there, and Jon bought a highly technical West Point text book from 1862 about artillery so he was very happy!
This is a giant flywheel that was placed in the exibit to demonstrate the workings of the pressing machinery as well as some of the lathes. It last operated in 1998, I believe. This was outdoors but in an area that was part of this huge complex of ironworks. They even had a huge anvil on which they put train wheels to break up to recycle in the iron furnaces. It was massive. A huge weight dropped on the wheels in order to break them up for recycling.
We also drove through Richmond to see Monument Avenue, and went to the Museum to the huge hospital (Chirombazzo) that treated over 75,000 patients during the war. After a quick dinner on the way back to Ft. Eustis, Jon took us around to the tidewater side of the base. It is so very beautiful there, and there is a large storage area of Decommissioned ships that are actually for sale. This is the James River, the same one of Jamestown fame. These ships are sometimes purchased as dive sites as was the Spiegel Grove which is right offshore of Key Largo, Florida...we've visited it several times.
These in the last picture, were landing craft that are modern and used today. The sunset was beautiful and the picture came out well! The bugs were ravenous as we got out of the car to take the pictures, one tried to bite me on the hand while I was holding up the camera! It was into the car and back to drop Jon off at his barracks for the evening.

No comments: