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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

The 1950s was a transformative period for Richmond, Virginia. The city, riding on the post-war economic boom, experienced significant growth and change. From the expansion of education and infrastructure to the emergence of civil rights movements and the flourishing of arts and culture, Richmond in the 1950s is a fascinating chapter in the city’s history.

Highways to Growth

During the 1950s, Richmond saw massive infrastructure development. One of the most significant projects was the construction of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, which would later become a part of Interstate 95. This vital artery connected Richmond to the broader East Coast, promoting commerce and facilitating travel.

Industrial Growth

With the economy growing rapidly, Richmond experienced a surge in industrial development in the 1950s. Manufacturing, particularly tobacco and textiles, thrived. Large employers, such as the American Tobacco Company and Reynolds Metals, saw considerable growth. This industrial expansion led to the rise of the middle class and the creation of many job opportunities.

The Boom of Suburbia

The post-war era also witnessed a population shift from the city center to suburban areas, a phenomenon fueled by a booming economy and the growth of the middle class. Areas like Henrico and Chesterfield County saw an influx of new residents, leading to the development of new homes, shopping centers, and schools.

A Push for Equality

The 1950s marked the beginning of significant strides in the fight for civil rights. In 1951, students at the all-black Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, just outside Richmond, walked out to protest the poor conditions of their school compared to those of the white students. This protest would eventually lead to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which signaled the end of school segregation across the country.

Cultural Flourish

Richmond’s cultural scene continued to flourish during the 1950s. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which opened its doors in the 1930s, expanded its collection, bringing in notable artworks from around the world. The city’s music scene also thrived, with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra gaining national recognition.

Richmond’s Retail Revolution

Richmond’s retail sector saw considerable changes in the 1950s. The suburban boom led to the development of new shopping centers, notably Willow Lawn, which opened in 1956 as the first shopping center of its kind in the Richmond area. These suburban shopping centers marked a shift from downtown shopping, providing a one-stop shopping experience complete with ample parking.

Education on the Rise

The decade also saw growth in higher education. Both the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University expanded their programs, offering a range of new courses and attracting a diverse student body. This growth laid a strong foundation for Richmond’s future as a hub for education.

#1 A view of East Broad Street in downtown Richmond on a cloudy day in October 1954.

A view of East Broad Street in downtown Richmond on a cloudy day in October 1954.

The distinctive Old City Hall, with its High Victorian Gothic style, is at left, bounded by 10th and 11th streets. The building is a National Historic Landmark.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#2 Patrons enjoyed the roller coaster at the amusement park in Buckroe Beach in Hampton, 1957.

Patrons enjoyed the roller coaster at the amusement park in Buckroe Beach in Hampton, 1957.

Buckroe Beach was a popular destination for Richmonders in the first half of the century as railroads offered direct trips to the area, where visitors could rent a cottage for $50 to $75 a week.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#3 The 300 block South Lombardy Street after tornado. Storm was June 14, 1951.

The 300 block South Lombardy Street after tornado. Storm was June 14, 1951.

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#4 Tornado felled trees in front of Commonwealth Club on Franklin St., June 13, 1951.

Tornado felled trees in front of Commonwealth Club on Franklin St., June 13, 1951.

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#5 Tornado damage from June 14, 1951 storm. Photo taken June 23, 1951. Location is Monroe Park.

Tornado damage from June 14, 1951 storm. Photo taken June 23, 1951. Location is Monroe Park.

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#6 South Richmonders had this view of a Dec. 24, 1951, fire on North Side at the F.L. Parsley storage plant on Rady Street.

South Richmonders had this view of a Dec. 24, 1951, fire on North Side at the F.L. Parsley storage plant on Rady Street.

Three fuel oil and kerosene tanks caught fire, sending black smoke across much of the city. More than 100 firefighters were needed to stop the blaze, which threatened a nearby stream, coal yard and other properties. When the owner of neighboring fuel tanks was told that his were saved, he called it "the nicest Christmas present ever."

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#7 The University of Richmond’s Boatwright Memorial Library created a vivid reflection in Westhampton Lake, 1957.

The University of Richmond's Boatwright Memorial Library created a vivid reflection in Westhampton Lake, 1957.

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#8 Several stories below the clock itself, four small balconies jut out from the clock tower on Old City Hall in downtown Richmond.

Several stories below the clock itself, four small balconies jut out from the clock tower on Old City Hall in downtown Richmond.

In February 1957, building supervisors looked out from the platforms, which once were public observation spots.

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#9 Betsy Marrin and Doris Bolton admired the springtime blooms in the Italian Garden at Maymont Park, 1952.

Betsy Marrin and Doris Bolton admired the springtime blooms in the Italian Garden at Maymont Park, 1952.

In May of that year, during Park and Recreation Week, Maymont opened a nature center in what had been a stone and brick stable.

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#10 A couple strolled through the gardens at Shooters Hill in Goochland County.

A couple strolled through the gardens at Shooters Hill in Goochland County.

In the 1950s, the historic home was often the site of Tuckahoe Garden Club events; estate owner Mrs. H.C.L. Miller was club president.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#11 The Canadian ship Notting Hill was docked at Richmond’s Deepwater Terminal on the James River, 1954.

The Canadian ship Notting Hill was docked at Richmond’s Deepwater Terminal on the James River, 1954.

Tobacco, textiles, newsprint, machinery and steel were among many products that came into or exited the terminal on cargo ships.

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#12 Melvin “Shot” Walker worked the grill at the White Spot in Charlottesville.

Melvin “Shot” Walker worked the grill at the White Spot in Charlottesville.

The popular diner, located along the Corner in the heart of the University of Virginia, was opened in 1953 by Paul Dunsmore. The building used to house a beauty salon, and a white spot on the floor where a salon chair once sat gave the eatery its name.

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#13 Shoppers waited for buses in the snow on Broad Street in downtown Richmond, 1954.

Shoppers waited for buses in the snow on Broad Street in downtown Richmond, 1954.

An accompanying article said the storm brought out a “spirit of neighborliness” among passengers as they “gossiped with strangers about the terrible weather.”

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#14 Richmond firefighters battled an early morning blaze at Monument Methodist Church, located at Allen and Park avenues, 1950.

Richmond firefighters battled an early morning blaze at Monument Methodist Church, located at Allen and Park avenues, 1950.

More than 150 firefighters and two-thirds of the city’s firefighting equipment responded to the blaze, which caused extensive damage. Four firemen were injured, mainly from ice that formed on ladders and sidewalks in the freezing cold.

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#15 The area of Hull Street between 12th and 13 streets in South Richmond was dug up for utility work and street rebuilding, 1951.

The area of Hull Street between 12th and 13 streets in South Richmond was dug up for utility work and street rebuilding, 1951.

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#16 Edition of The Times-Dispatch included a photo spread on the Southern Biscuit Co., whose products – under the Famous Foods of Virginia brand – established the company as one of America’s largest producers of cookies and crackers, 1953.

Edition of The Times-Dispatch included a photo spread on the Southern Biscuit Co., whose products – under the Famous Foods of Virginia brand – established the company as one of America's largest producers of cookies and crackers, 1953.

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#17 James River Garden Club members visited the Branch House on Monument Avenue in Richmond to make last-minute arrangements before the weekend’s flower show, 1954.

James River Garden Club members visited the Branch House on Monument Avenue in Richmond to make last-minute arrangements before the weekend’s flower show, 1954.

As part of event, the Antiquarian Society of Richmond also prepared an exhibit of 18th-century furniture in the library of the house. Proceeds helped restore local gardens

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#18 Members of the Richmond Virginians engaged in a pre-practice bull session in their locker room, 1955.

Members of the Richmond Virginians engaged in a pre-practice bull session in their locker room, 1955.

The International League baseball team held spring training in Haines City, Fla., before returning to their local base of Parker Field.

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#19 June Maile showed youngsters from the Belle Bryan Day Nursery how to play “London Bridge is Falling Down” during the nursery’s annual outing at Byrd Park, 1951.

June Maile showed youngsters from the Belle Bryan Day Nursery how to play “London Bridge is Falling Down” during the nursery’s annual outing at Byrd Park, 1951.

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#20 Work was scheduled to begin to widen this south end of the North Boulevard railroad overpass, 1950.

Work was scheduled to begin to widen this south end of the North Boulevard railroad overpass, 1950.

The work was expected to cost about $165,000 and take approximately seven months.

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#21 These young ladies cooled off during a heatwave and enjoyed a boat ride on Fountain Lake at Byrd Park in Richmond, 1950.

These young ladies cooled off during a heatwave and enjoyed a boat ride on Fountain Lake at Byrd Park in Richmond, 1950.

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#22 The Bridge at Falling Creek, 1951.

The Bridge at Falling Creek, 1951.

The granite arch span, most of which can still be seen today, was built in the 1820s – at a cost of just over $2,000. The bridge was retired from service in the early 1930s after a new span began carrying southbound U.S. 1/301 traffic over Falling Creek in Chesterfield County. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1990s.

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#23 Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, with its new attached building at right, 1951.

Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, with its new attached building at right, 1951.

The church was organized in 1924 and several years later built its first building on West 41st Street in Richmond. In 1942, it started using an old house at 4401 Forest Hill Ave. for all meetings outside regular services. By 1946, the church received a permit to construct a new building on the site of the Church House.

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#24 A crumbling Richmond-Ashland Electric Line viaduct, covered in vines, near Moore Street in Richmond, 1950.

A crumbling Richmond-Ashland Electric Line viaduct, covered in vines, near Moore Street in Richmond, 1950.

The structures, which remained after the electric trolley system folded in the late 1930s, had become a nuisance, with chunks of concrete falling off of them at times. It took more than 15 years after this image was taken until the last of the structures was removed.

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#25 Floats in the National Tobacco Festival parade completed their promenade around City Stadium before the football game between the University of Richmond and Hampden-Sydney College, 1954.

Floats in the National Tobacco Festival parade completed their promenade around City Stadium before the football game between the University of Richmond and Hampden-Sydney College, 1954.

The festival ran in Richmond from 1949 to 1984 and was a top event in the city during its run. A predecessor festival was held in South Boston before World War II.

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#26 The former Westwood Circle in Richmond, a traffic circle at the intersection of North Boulevard, Hermitage Road and Westwood Avenue, 1950.

The former Westwood Circle in Richmond, a traffic circle at the intersection of North Boulevard, Hermitage Road and Westwood Avenue, 1950.

In November 1961, a $150,000 project removed the circle, added islands and traffic signals, and diverted some traffic around the busy intersection. City safety official John Hanna called the intersection the “most complicated we have had to redesign and signalize in the past 14 years.”

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#27 Men dipping for herring in Falling Creek in Chesterfield County, 1955.

Men dipping for herring in Falling Creek in Chesterfield County, 1955.

Herring would arrive in rivers in the spring to spawn, and dipping was a popular activity that allowed men to socialize while stocking up on fish that could be salted and eaten through the year.

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#28 The new whirlaway, a merry-go-round type of gadget turned by the foot power of dozens of students, was popular at Dumbarton Elementary School in Henrico County, 1953.

The new whirlaway, a merry-go-round type of gadget turned by the foot power of dozens of students, was popular at Dumbarton Elementary School in Henrico County, 1953.

The attraction was part of a new set of playground equipment purchased with $750 donated by the Lakeside Lions Club. Watching the children (from left) were H.F. Taylor, Lions Club president; Joseph Rotella, school principal; and F.M. Armbrecht, chairman of the PTA recreation committee.

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#29 One of “Dr. Duval’s pills,” part of a trio of 30-inch granite Turkish cannonballs, in its new location at John Marshall High School at Eighth and Marshall streets in Richmond, 1952.

One of “Dr. Duval’s pills,” part of a trio of 30-inch granite Turkish cannonballs, in its new location at John Marshall High School at Eighth and Marshall streets in Richmond, 1952.

After standing for many years on a pedestal in front of Grays’ Armory at Seventh and Marshall, this one was destined to join its two mates at the city Works Department trash heap at the old fairgrounds, where those two had lain missing since World War II until being rediscovered in January 1952. This one was instead saved with a move out of the way of downtown traffic.

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#30 A wagon, believed to have been Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s during the Civil War, as it was retired to the Army’s Richmond Quartermaster Depot at Bellwood, 1952.

A wagon, believed to have been Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's during the Civil War, as it was retired to the Army’s Richmond Quartermaster Depot at Bellwood, 1952.

The wagon was among numerous items being transferred from Cameron Station in Alexandria; it can still be seen at the Army Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee.

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#31 Armistice Day ceremonies were held at the old John Marshall High School in Richmond, 1952.

Armistice Day ceremonies were held at the old John Marshall High School in Richmond, 1952.

Today known as Veterans Day, the 1952 events marked the 34th anniversary of the end of World War I. At John Marshall, the school’s band and color guard took part in the service, and wreaths were placed on two plaques bearing names of former students who gave their lives in the two world wars.

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#32 Gleeful children left Ginter Park School in Richmond as they were dismissed for the summer months – though they did need to return a few days later for their report cards, 1950.

Gleeful children left Ginter Park School in Richmond as they were dismissed for the summer months – though they did need to return a few days later for their report cards, 1950.

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#33 There were still working cart and wagon horses in Richmond, in addition to police horses that patrolled the streets, 1950.

There were still working cart and wagon horses in Richmond, in addition to police horses that patrolled the streets, 1950.

That month, city officials pondered whether furnishing water to this old horse trough – on North Second Street near Bates Street – and two others was still justified. The cost of supplying water to all three was about $500 per year.

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#34 Reigning horse of the year Hill Prince came home to The Meadow, near Doswell in Caroline County, after suffering a leg fracture during training in California, 1951.

Reigning horse of the year Hill Prince came home to The Meadow, near Doswell in Caroline County, after suffering a leg fracture during training in California, 1951.

Trainer J.H. “Casey” Hayes delivered a pat to the Thoroughbred’s nose. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Christopher T. Chenery, Hill Prince did not return to racing until fall 1951 and only raced one more year after before being retired.

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#35 The newly renovated Park Avenue Methodist Church, 1954.

The newly renovated Park Avenue Methodist Church, 1954.

The building at Park and Allen avenues in Richmond housed Monument Methodist Church before a fire in 1950 caused extensive damage. The following year, that congregation was part of a merger that formed Reveille United Methodist. The Byrd Park Methodist congregation, later renamed to Park Avenue, moved into the structure in 1952. The building is now occupied by Community Church of God in Christ.

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#36 The nation’s first 24-hour peacetime air raid alert system, called Operation Skywatch, began operation, 1952.

The nation's first 24-hour peacetime air raid alert system, called Operation Skywatch, began operation, 1952.

Air Force members and volunteers staffing the Richmond filter station began plotting sightings of planes as they were called in.

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#37 University of Richmond basketball coach Les Hooker was surrounded by four returning members from the previous season’s team, which won the Big Six title in Hooker’s first season and earned him coach of the year honors, 1953.

University of Richmond basketball coach Les Hooker was surrounded by four returning members from the previous season’s team, which won the Big Six title in Hooker’s first season and earned him coach of the year honors, 1953.

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#38 Members of the Richmond Square Dance Federation danced in Bon Air, 1953.

Members of the Richmond Square Dance Federation danced in Bon Air, 1953.

According to an accompanying article, square dancing was enjoying a revival at the time. The local federation, assisted by the city parks department and state Chamber of Commerce, planned to host a square dancing festival the next month with groups from across Virginia.

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#39 Firemen W.M. Alley and J.B. Winston mounted Richmond’s oldest fire engine, Old 798.

Firemen W.M. Alley and J.B. Winston mounted Richmond’s oldest fire engine, Old 798.

Though long out of use, the engine was brought out for special occasions and parades. When Old 798 was still active, it was pulled by two horses that responded to the fire bell with excitement, a veteran fire chief said.

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#40 Dot Perkins led a dance class in “the hut” at the Powhatan Hill playground in Richmond, 1957.

Dot Perkins led a dance class in “the hut” at the Powhatan Hill playground in Richmond, 1957.

The playground received the Quonset hut, a semicircular structure made out of corrugated metal, in 1947 after city officials authorized using $15,000 to erect it. It quickly became a center of extracurricular activities for area children.

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#41 In September 1951, a boy fished at the dam of Lakeside Lake in Henrico County, 1950.

In September 1951, a boy fished at the dam of Lakeside Lake in Henrico County, 1950.

Lewis Ginter built the dam in the 1890s to connect Lakeside Park to the Lakeside Wheel Club. Today, the lake is in on the grounds of Jefferson Lakeside Country Club.

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#42 A curb boy at Arnette’s Ice Cream Co., served Beverly Page French a banana split, 1950. T

A curb boy at Arnette’s Ice Cream Co., served Beverly Page French a banana split, 1950. T

he ice cream shop, located on Willard Road in Henrico County, was a popular hangout for local teens.

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#43 A group of costumed children celebrated Halloween at the William Fox playground in Richmond, 1954.

A group of costumed children celebrated Halloween at the William Fox playground in Richmond, 1954.

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#44 James R. Osterbind posed for a photo during his workday at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, 1953.

James R. Osterbind posed for a photo during his workday at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, 1953.

Osterbind was one of several members of his family who worked at Tredegar over the course of four generations. Tredegar opened in 1837, was a major manufacturing center for the Confederacy during the Civil War and continued as a production facility through most of the 1950s.

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#45 Richmond city workers painted lane lines on Cowardin Avenue using a new power-driven machine, 1953.

Richmond city workers painted lane lines on Cowardin Avenue using a new power-driven machine, 1953.

Previously, it took two men to do the process - one to hold a piece of rope along the line and another to apply paint.

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#46 Traffic stacked up at Fifth and Franklin streets in downtown Richmond on a busy shopping day, 1954.

Traffic stacked up at Fifth and Franklin streets in downtown Richmond on a busy shopping day, 1954.

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#47 Richmond in the 50s

Richmond in the 50s

A boy and girl walked through Chesterfield County farmland with their tools, ready to help with planting, 1950.

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#48 Shows the canal locks in downtown Richmond between 14th and Pear streets, 1953.

Shows the canal locks in downtown Richmond between 14th and Pear streets, 1953.

After their installation and later refurbishment in the mid-19th century, the locks increased boat traffic and allowed for easier transport of goods to and from the city.

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#49 Square dance caller Richard Chase taught playground directors some steps ahead o f a dance scheduled for the Byrd Park tennis courts in Richmond as part of Park and Recreation Week, 1951.

Square dance caller Richard Chase taught playground directors some steps ahead o f a dance scheduled for the Byrd Park tennis courts in Richmond as part of Park and Recreation Week, 1951.

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#50 Members of the Richmond Civic Ballet rehearsed for an upcoming performance, 1954.

Members of the Richmond Civic Ballet rehearsed for an upcoming performance, 1954.

The open-membership volunteer group, which held roughly a dozen performances annually at local events, was organized almost four years earlier by local former professional dancers Betty Carper Grigg and John Hurdle.

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#51 Students crowded into the new Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico County, 1954.

Students crowded into the new Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico County, 1954.

The school, which cost about $1.1 million, opened the previous month and had roughly 500 high school and 500 elementary students.

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#52 Members of the Monacan Junior Woman’s Club sought volunteers for the upcoming blood drive at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County, 1953.

Members of the Monacan Junior Woman’s Club sought volunteers for the upcoming blood drive at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County, 1953.

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#53 Bobby Seal (left), 15, and Marvin “Kayo” Williams, 14, played billiards on the new table at the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Boys Club, which was on Church Hill in Richmond, 1950.

Bobby Seal (left), 15, and Marvin “Kayo” Williams, 14, played billiards on the new table at the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Boys Club, which was on Church Hill in Richmond, 1950.

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#54 About 100 firefighters needed four hours to control a blaze in the 700 block of East Main Street in downtown Richmond, 1957.

About 100 firefighters needed four hours to control a blaze in the 700 block of East Main Street in downtown Richmond, 1957.

The fire caused $100,000 in damage and displaced Nathan’s tailor shop and the DeJarnette & Paul insurance agency.

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#55 Mrs. V.C. Wiltshire, 85, prepared for spring planting at her home on Patterson Avenue in Richmond, 1952.

Mrs. V.C. Wiltshire, 85, prepared for spring planting at her home on Patterson Avenue in Richmond, 1952.

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#56 Mrs. R.L. Mattox showed off her unique mailbox at her home on state Route 35 in Prince George County, 1951.

Mrs. R.L. Mattox showed off her unique mailbox at her home on state Route 35 in Prince George County, 1951.

The mailbox post was made using an old log cabin chain and required an hour’s worth of welding. Mattox and her husband were inspired by a design they saw in a magazine.

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#57 Ground was broken for the South Richmond Health Center at 14th and Bainbridge streets, 1950.

Ground was broken for the South Richmond Health Center at 14th and Bainbridge streets, 1950.

Members of the Richmond public health community and South Richmond Community Nursing Service participated in the ceremony. The clinic, which opened in January 1952, was staffed by volunteer nurses.

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#58 Tennis players (from left) Cliff Miller, Al Dickinson and Bob Figg Sr. discussed the Country Club of Virginia’s annual tennis competition, which began the day before, 1953.

Tennis players (from left) Cliff Miller, Al Dickinson and Bob Figg Sr. discussed the Country Club of Virginia’s annual tennis competition, which began the day before, 1953.

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#59 Shoppers crowded the streets of downtown for Richmond Day, a promotion that began the year before, 1953.

Shoppers crowded the streets of downtown for Richmond Day, a promotion that began the year before, 1953.

Like Black Friday, shoppers were lured to stores with deals such as $1 televisions, 2-for-1 car deals and $1 dresses. Merchants reported strong sales.

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#60 Melvin Doggett (left) and Jeff Martin sought relief from the summer heat … by getting even hotter, 1954

Melvin Doggett (left) and Jeff Martin sought relief from the summer heat … by getting even hotter, 1954

The men used the “hot boxes” at the Richmond YMCA, which could be set to 115 degrees and could leave the body cleansed and refreshed.

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#61 East Broad Street in downtown Richmond at night, 1952.

East Broad Street in downtown Richmond at night, 1952.

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#62 Sherry Gilman placed a letter in a barrel-turned-mailbox on Honaker Avenue in Richmond, 1950.

Sherry Gilman placed a letter in a barrel-turned-mailbox on Honaker Avenue in Richmond, 1950.

The barrel was serving as a temporary mailbox for the newly developed residential area in the West End.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#63 Motorcyclists raced in the 10-Mile National Motorcycle Championship at the Atlantic Rural Exposition grounds in Henrico County, 1952.

Motorcyclists raced in the 10-Mile National Motorcycle Championship at the Atlantic Rural Exposition grounds in Henrico County, 1952.

More than 4,000 spectators saw Bobby Hill of Columbus, Ohio, the nation’s top racer, ride bike No. 1 to victory in the 20-lap championship race.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#64 Firefighters battled at blaze at L.R. Brown & Co., a furniture store on Hull Street in South Richmond, 1952.

Firefighters battled at blaze at L.R. Brown & Co., a furniture store on Hull Street in South Richmond, 1952.

The warehouse blaze destroyed a lot of pieces intended for Christmas gifts.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#65 Workers constructed a section of Forest Hill Avenue in South Richmond, 1951. The segment sits between Westover Hills Boulevard and Prince Arthur Road.

Workers constructed a section of Forest Hill Avenue in South Richmond, 1951. The segment sits between Westover Hills Boulevard and Prince Arthur Road.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#66 Two women enjoyed the white sand beach of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1951.

Two women enjoyed the white sand beach of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1951.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#67 Alonzo Moore, 74, walked down a street in Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and blew his horn, alerting locals to his sale of the fresh catch of the day, 1951.

Alonzo Moore, 74, walked down a street in Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and blew his horn, alerting locals to his sale of the fresh catch of the day, 1951.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#68 Richmond Department of Utilities workers used a 65-foot hook-and-ladder fire truck to install new lights on Broad Street after attempts to secure other ladder facilities from private companies had failed, 1953.

Richmond Department of Utilities workers used a 65-foot hook-and-ladder fire truck to install new lights on Broad Street after attempts to secure other ladder facilities from private companies had failed, 1953.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#69 The summer heat sent crowds to Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County for a swim, 1950.

The summer heat sent crowds to Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County for a swim, 1950.

Earlier that month, the state’s nine parks welcomed more than 77,000 visitors during their unofficial opening week for the season.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#70 Clifford Burgess (from left), Harlean Bibb, Charles King and Shirley Kingsley, who attended Summer Hill School in South Richmond, practiced a square dance called “Duck for the Oyster”, 1950

Clifford Burgess (from left), Harlean Bibb, Charles King and Shirley Kingsley, who attended Summer Hill School in South Richmond, practiced a square dance called “Duck for the Oyster”, 1950

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#71 Barbara Kilday (from left), Becky Branch and Jill Arnold set up a net for tennis, 1950. The 14-year-olds were attending summer school in the Richmond area.

Barbara Kilday (from left), Becky Branch and Jill Arnold set up a net for tennis, 1950. The 14-year-olds were attending summer school in the Richmond area.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#72 Roman West pulled the cord of a steam whistle at T&E Laundry on Marshall Street in Richmond, 1951.

Roman West pulled the cord of a steam whistle at T&E Laundry on Marshall Street in Richmond, 1951.

The whistle was one of nine that was being used in a citywide test of the audibility of air raid signals.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#73 Farmer Ray Welch of Northumberland County used his homemade portable corn elevator, 1950.

Farmer Ray Welch of Northumberland County used his homemade portable corn elevator, 1950.

The device scooped grain from ground level and transferred it up for storage, and the wheels allowed it to be moved from place to place. “Everybody who farms has to make every kind of gadget he can for himself,” Welch said.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#74 A school group followed a nature trail at Forest Hill Park in Richmond and explored a wildflower preserve and bird sanctuary, 1950.

A school group followed a nature trail at Forest Hill Park in Richmond and explored a wildflower preserve and bird sanctuary, 1950.

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#75 A tugboat from New York City left Richmond’s Upper Terminal with three steel barges in tow, 1955.

A tugboat from New York City left Richmond’s Upper Terminal with three steel barges in tow, 1955.

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#76 Students at Ridge School in Henrico County enjoyed their new merry-go-round, 1955.

Students at Ridge School in Henrico County enjoyed their new merry-go-round, 1955.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#77 Ann Huxley adjusted the blade height on her lawnmower before cutting the grass at her home on Three Chopt Road in Henrico County, 1956.

Ann Huxley adjusted the blade height on her lawnmower before cutting the grass at her home on Three Chopt Road in Henrico County, 1956.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#78 A dachshund float towered above spectators lining the curb during the Thalhimers Toy Parade in downtown Richmond, 1950.

A dachshund float towered above spectators lining the curb during the Thalhimers Toy Parade in downtown Richmond, 1950.

The parade was first held in 1929 and, after a pause during World War II, resumed in 1946. Thalhimers department store employees worked for months to build floats, design routes and prepare costumes. The parade was cancelled in 1973 as in-store activities took greater prominence.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#79 Mrs. Burlee stood on her front lawn at Tree Hill Farm in Henrico County’s Varina area and admired the view of Richmond, 1955.

Mrs. Burlee stood on her front lawn at Tree Hill Farm in Henrico County’s Varina area and admired the view of Richmond, 1955.

The farm dated to the 1700s, and a large oak on the property, which was felled by a storm in 2012, was known as the “Surrender Tree” – legend says it is where Richmond Mayor Joseph Mayo surrendered the city to Union forces in April 1865 near the end of the Civil War. More recently, the farm served as a set for the 2015 film “Ithaca,” starring and directed by Meg Ryan.

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#80 Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad conductor H.C. Rollins (right) and flagman C.H. Smith did pre-trip paperwork in a train caboose before a ride to Washington, 1953.

Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad conductor H.C. Rollins (right) and flagman C.H. Smith did pre-trip paperwork in a train caboose before a ride to Washington, 1953.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#81 L. Howard Jenkins, head of a Richmond book manufacturer that bore his name, supervised workers at his plant on West Broad Street, 1953.

L. Howard Jenkins, head of a Richmond book manufacturer that bore his name, supervised workers at his plant on West Broad Street, 1953.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#82 Mrs. J.H. Boxley diverted her husband’s attention from his bookkeeping to show off new inventory at the L’Pell’s clothing store they owned on East Grace Street in Richmond, 1951.

Mrs. J.H. Boxley diverted her husband’s attention from his bookkeeping to show off new inventory at the L’Pell’s clothing store they owned on East Grace Street in Richmond, 1951.

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#83 One side of Bloemendaal House, the former home of Richmond businessman Lewis Ginter and now part of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1951.

One side of Bloemendaal House, the former home of Richmond businessman Lewis Ginter and now part of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1951.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#84 A 10-block section of Monument Avenue between Horsepen Road and Keystone Drive in Henrico County began carrying eastbound and westbound traffic on separate sides of the median, 1953.

A 10-block section of Monument Avenue between Horsepen Road and Keystone Drive in Henrico County began carrying eastbound and westbound traffic on separate sides of the median, 1953.

About 20 signs were erected to let motorists know that they no longer shared a single side. The change was in anticipation of expanding the configuration to begin at the city limits.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#85 Lightning flashed over South Richmond during a storm that brought heavy rain and stiff wind to the city, 1953.

Lightning flashed over South Richmond during a storm that brought heavy rain and stiff wind to the city, 1953.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#86 Motorcyclists raced in the 10-Mile National Motorcycle Championship at the Atlantic Rural Exposition grounds in Henrico County, 1950.

Motorcyclists raced in the 10-Mile National Motorcycle Championship at the Atlantic Rural Exposition grounds in Henrico County, 1950.

The winner was “Little Joe” Weatherly of Norfolk, who later turned to stock car racing and won NASCAR titles in the 1960s before being killed in a race accident in Riverside, Calif., in 1964.

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#87 The truck was occupying what used to be the front yard of a house in the 6500 block, 1951.

The truck was occupying what used to be the front yard of a house in the 6500 block, 1951.

The road was being widened for divided lane traffic in the block between Bevridge Road and Roxbury Road.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#88 Area residents enjoyed a refreshing swim in the James River — a reprieve from record high temperatures during the spring month, 1956.

Area residents enjoyed a refreshing swim in the James River — a reprieve from record high temperatures during the spring month, 1956.

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#89 Four girls played jump-rope in a Richmond city park, 1950.

Four girls played jump-rope in a Richmond city park, 1950.

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#90 Women lounged on a floating platform at a swimming hole that was once a quarry, 1950.

Women lounged on a floating platform at a swimming hole that was once a quarry, 1950.

Starting in the 1800s, the area near what is now Willow Oaks was occupied by a large number of granite quarries. As they closed and were allowed to fill with water, they became popular recreation spots.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#91 A full house at the Arena in Richmond watched the State Group 1 high school basketball tournament, 1956.

A full house at the Arena in Richmond watched the State Group 1 high school basketball tournament, 1956.

Admission was $1 per game for adults and 50 cents for students. Newport News High School won the tournament.

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#92 Mrs. Hunter Jones hitched a ride behind a ski plane that was visiting Chesterfield County’s Parnell Field, which opened in March 1946 as the first postwar airport in the Richmond area, 1957.

Mrs. Hunter Jones hitched a ride behind a ski plane that was visiting Chesterfield County’s Parnell Field, which opened in March 1946 as the first postwar airport in the Richmond area, 1957.

Located on Bells Road, Parnell Field had two dirt runways, and at its peak, it was home to as many as 30 light aircraft. It closed in 1972.

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#93 Central National Bank opened an “auto branch” at Third and Marshall streets in downtown Richmond, a block from the main office, 1955.

Central National Bank opened an "auto branch" at Third and Marshall streets in downtown Richmond, a block from the main office, 1955.

The branch featured drive-in windows, walk-up service and a night depository. The bank had opened a West End auto branch at West Broad Street near the Boulevard in 1948.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#94 Criglersville general store owner Robert H. Gibbs served customer Lindsay Utz while they discussed topics of the day, 1956.

Criglersville general store owner Robert H. Gibbs served customer Lindsay Utz while they discussed topics of the day, 1956.

The store, built in 1917 in Madison County, also served as the community’s post office and telephone collection agent. In this rural area, the store was a community gathering place, with an old 1917 Simmons Giant coal-burning stove to keep people warm.

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#95 This coal bin in the Highland Springs High School shop building was cleaned out and converted into a practice room for the school band, 1950.

This coal bin in the Highland Springs High School shop building was cleaned out and converted into a practice room for the school band, 1950.

The Henrico County school’s band previously practiced in the school basement, which caused a noise problem in classrooms. The shop building was located offsite nearby.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#96 The Sixth Street Market, where the city of Richmond was set to raise rents to be more in line with prevailing rates, 1950.

The Sixth Street Market, where the city of Richmond was set to raise rents to be more in line with prevailing rates, 1950.

Rents at the 17th Street Market also were going up, and the city planned to raise the sanitation tax on vehicles using street space in the market areas from 10 cents to 50.

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#97 Students at the Grace Arents School, located on Oregon Hill, were among those all over Richmond who participated in a fire drill, 1956.

Students at the Grace Arents School, located on Oregon Hill, were among those all over Richmond who participated in a fire drill, 1956.

The students filed out in an orderly column while a teacher remained at the door to make sure all youths exited safely.

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#98 Shoppers on Broad Street in downtown Richmond rushed to find bargains at the fourth annual Richmond Day, 1955.

Shoppers on Broad Street in downtown Richmond rushed to find bargains at the fourth annual Richmond Day, 1955.

Deals included winter coats for $1 for early customers, television sets between $1.98 and $19, and a seven-diamond ring for $39. Many stores participated in the sales event, and customers lined up as early as 8:30 p.m. the night before in hopes of getting the best deals.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#99 Employees of the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles on West Broad Street in Richmond prepared for an onslaught of customers before doors opened for business, 1959.

Employees of the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles on West Broad Street in Richmond prepared for an onslaught of customers before doors opened for business, 1959.

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#100 A snowy slope at Forest Hill Park in Richmond came to life on a cold afternoon, 1955.

A snowy slope at Forest Hill Park in Richmond came to life on a cold afternoon, 1955.

Sledders turned out after school and stayed late on hard-packed snow. Two days before, a snowfall that officially measured 7.6 inches had fallen – it was the most since 1948.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#101 The Richmond skyline as seen from the south end of the Lee Bridge, 1951.

The Richmond skyline as seen from the south end of the Lee Bridge, 1951.

The span in the foreground was a small automobile bridge to Belle Isle, mainly used by employees working on the island. The bridge was largely washed away in rains from the remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972, and now only the supports and a small portion on the island remain.

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#102 Swimmers cooled off on a hot day at Granite Quarry in Chesterfield County, 1954.

Swimmers cooled off on a hot day at Granite Quarry in Chesterfield County, 1954.

Starting in the 1800s, the area near what is now Willow Oaks was occupied by a large number of granite quarries. As they closed and were allowed to fill with water, they became popular

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#103 Part of the ceiling of the Park Theater at 810 E. Broad St. collapsed during a showing, injuring 17, 1954.

Part of the ceiling of the Park Theater at 810 E. Broad St. collapsed during a showing, injuring 17, 1954.

The theater, which reopened a month later after repairs, had a long history. It opened as the Lubin in 1909, became the Regent briefly in 1916 before changing name to the Isis in the same year. After closing in 1929, it reopened as the Park in 1938, then closed again in 1953.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#104 A tornado struck Richmond, causing massive damage in its 4-mile path of destruction –including a truck crushed by a fallen tree at Belvidere and Franklin streets downtown, 1951

A tornado struck Richmond, causing massive damage in its 4-mile path of destruction --including a truck crushed by a fallen tree at Belvidere and Franklin streets downtown, 1951

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#105 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited Richmond on a U.S. tour. Before a crowd of about 6,000 people at Capitol Square, Gov. Thomas B. Stanley escorted her into the Capitol for a tour, 1954

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited Richmond on a U.S. tour. Before a crowd of about 6,000 people at Capitol Square, Gov. Thomas B. Stanley escorted her into the Capitol for a tour, 1954

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#106 Two boys surveyed the William F. Fox School, which they were ready to attend within days, 1953. The Richmond school, on Hanover Avenue in the Fan District, was dedicated in September 1911.

Two boys surveyed the William F. Fox School, which they were ready to attend within days, 1953. The Richmond school, on Hanover Avenue in the Fan District, was dedicated in September 1911.

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#107 Swift Creek Mill in Chesterfield County. Now home to the local theater, the site was built in 1663 as a gristmill and changed hands and functions many times over the centuries, according to the theater’s history.

Swift Creek Mill in Chesterfield County. Now home to the local theater, the site was built in 1663 as a gristmill and changed hands and functions many times over the centuries, according to the theater's history.

In 1929, operating again as a gristmill, the property became known officially as the Swift Creek Mill and remained in operation until 1956. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#108 In October 1957, U.Va. faced Virginia Tech in the Tobacco Festival football game at City Stadium in Richmond.

In October 1957, U.Va. faced Virginia Tech in the Tobacco Festival football game at City Stadium in Richmond.

Here, Virginia's Jim Bakhtiar (feet in air) rolled into the end zone in the first quarter for the first of his four touchdowns. The Cavaliers trounced the Gobblers 38-7.

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#109 A surprise 5-inch snowfall covered Richmond and kept traffic on the slushy Lee Bridge moving slowly, 1950.

A surprise 5-inch snowfall covered Richmond and kept traffic on the slushy Lee Bridge moving slowly, 1950.

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#110 View of a staircase at Old City Hall, 1959.

View of a staircase at Old City Hall, 1959.

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What Richmond, Virginia looked like in the 1950s through Historical Photos

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#111 Richmond’s triple railroad crossing 4th time in history 3 trains lined up TD Oct 13, 1958

Richmond's triple railroad crossing 4th time in history 3 trains lined up TD Oct 13, 1958

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#112 The view from Richmond’s Chimborazo Hill at twilight, looking across Fulton and the James River, 1955.

The view from Richmond’s Chimborazo Hill at twilight, looking across Fulton and the James River, 1955.

The photo accompanied a “Capital Sidelights” column by Charles McDowell Jr. that promoted the sunset views from the hill.

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#113 New policewoman Martha S. Jackson placed one of her first tickets on an illegally parked car, 1952.

New policewoman Martha S. Jackson placed one of her first tickets on an illegally parked car, 1952.

Jackson, one of Richmond's first full-fledged female traffic officials with full police authority, was tasked with pedestrian education and enforcement when the “walk/don't walk” lights began operation on Broad Street, as well as car tagging and intersection assignments.

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#114 Know-Your-Bank Week activities in Richmond included behind-the-scenes tours for bank customers and school students, 1952.

Know-Your-Bank Week activities in Richmond included behind-the-scenes tours for bank customers and school students, 1952.

Here, students from Thomas Jefferson High School were given a look inside the State-Planters Bank and Trust Co. vault by assistant cashier Ramon G. Smith. Gov. John S. Battle first designated such a week in 1950.

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#115 The Deep Run races were held at the Atlantic Rural Exposition fairgrounds, now known as the Richmond Raceway Complex, 1951.

The Deep Run races were held at the Atlantic Rural Exposition fairgrounds, now known as the Richmond Raceway Complex, 1951.

The co-feature was the Richmond Plate race, a 2-mile course that Crown Royal led over the first jump before finishing third, eight lengths behind winner Flying Wing.

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#116 W.H. Childress’ coonhound won best of breed at the Virginia Kennel Club’s 17th annual dog show at the Atlantic Rural Exposition fairgrounds, 1951.

W.H. Childress’ coonhound won best of breed at the Virginia Kennel Club’s 17th annual dog show at the Atlantic Rural Exposition fairgrounds, 1951.

The club was first organized in October 1902, and while it put on some shows before 1935, it did not begin a consistent schedule until then.

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#117 The Cary Street resurfacing project was approaching completion, 1950.

The Cary Street resurfacing project was approaching completion, 1950.

As part of a larger resurfacing and repair project across the city, Cary was repaved with blacktop between Belmont and Nansemond streets by Richmond’s Department of Public Works.

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#118 The “Tummyache” persimmon tree in the back of Retreat for the Sick Hospital at Grove Avenue and Mulberry Street in Richmond, 1951.

The “Tummyache” persimmon tree in the back of Retreat for the Sick Hospital at Grove Avenue and Mulberry Street in Richmond, 1951.

According to the story, in about 1922, the 6-year-old son of a preacher-farmer in Powhatan County kept eating persimmons one day until he developed a stomachache and was brought to the hospital. A doctor removed about a pint of seeds from the child’s stomach – and then planted one, which became this tree.

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#119 St. Andrew’s School in Richmond’s Oregon Hill area. Noted philanthropist Grace Arents founded the school in 1894 and was a key supporter of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1951.

St. Andrew’s School in Richmond’s Oregon Hill area. Noted philanthropist Grace Arents founded the school in 1894 and was a key supporter of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1951.

The school offered a wide range of programs, including sewing, music and physical education. It still stands today, serving low-income children.

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#120 Virginia Randolph attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony for a $262,000 addition to the former one-room schoolhouse in Glen Allen that she started in 1892 and that was named for her.

Virginia Randolph attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony for a $262,000 addition to the former one-room schoolhouse in Glen Allen that she started in 1892 and that was named for her.

In 1949, Randolph retired at age 79 from a long career that encompassed teaching and supervising teacher training and curriculums for black schools in the Richmond area. Randolph, whose efforts focused heavily on vocational education, died in 1958.

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#121 The boys choir sang in All Saints Episcopal Church, which was then on West Franklin Street, 1954.

The boys choir sang in All Saints Episcopal Church, which was then on West Franklin Street, 1954.

The following year, the church decided to move to River Road; the former building has since been torn down.

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#122 The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway ran its first diesel-powered locomotives through Richmond on two of its passenger trains, 1951.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway ran its first diesel-powered locomotives through Richmond on two of its passenger trains, 1951.

Here, train engineer Mr. Denton got orders from stationmaster Mr. Boykin. By the end of the year, the company hoped to have most of the steam locomotives in its line replaced with diesel-electric ones.

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#123 Tobacco Row at Dock Street, where many cigarette manufacturers were located, 1956.

Tobacco Row at Dock Street, where many cigarette manufacturers were located, 1956.

Tobacco planters and shippers started building facilities in Richmond in the 1600s. The brick buildings that stand there today were built in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The tobacco companies had moved out by the late 1980s, and today the old buildings have been converted mainly to retail and residential space.

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#124 Some children took a rest and got a drink from a fountain in North Richmond located along the Richmond Henrico Turnpike, 1950.

Some children took a rest and got a drink from a fountain in North Richmond located along the Richmond Henrico Turnpike, 1950.

This fountain, between Dove and Vale streets just off the turnpike, is still standing, though the lion heads have since been removed and the fountain has been painted.

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#125 East Broad Street at Fifth Street in downtown Richmond shows crowds of holiday shoppers visiting such stores as Baker’s, Peoples Drug, Swatty’s Pants, Haverty’s Furniture and Raylass Department Store, 1950.

East Broad Street at Fifth Street in downtown Richmond shows crowds of holiday shoppers visiting such stores as Baker's, Peoples Drug, Swatty's Pants, Haverty's Furniture and Raylass Department Store, 1950.

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#126 The 3100 block of West Cary Street shows Lord’s Furniture and Hofheimer’s shoe store, 1951.

The 3100 block of West Cary Street shows Lord's Furniture and Hofheimer's shoe store, 1951.

That fall, Hofheimer's offered Stride Rite children's shoes - “gas-filled balloons with every pair!” - for $4.50 to $7.95. (The location, in what is now called Carytown, is occupied by Can Can Brasserie.)

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