Thursday, October 21, 2010

Belle Isle in Richmond

Hey everyone, I had the day off since it was break time. I got my car fixed and now it isn't being dumb and messing up because of the transmission. It did cost about $121 though. Runs great now and afterwards I fixed up some of the yard, re did my book self and then went to Belle Isle with my dad for a few hours. I brought the camera and got some good shots to. I uploaded it to the picasa web album and I will post some photos below. I will also include some history and information of the Isle its self :)



This is the walking bridge on the North side of the river that travels under the Robert E. Lee bridge. It is how you get to the isle.


Belle Isle is about 54 acres that is in the James River in Richmond, VA. It use to be called Broad Rock Island and was first explored by John Smith in 1607. It is now owned and ran by the city of Richmond as a city park so lots of people go there for recreation like biking, climbing, kayaking, or plain walking.



In the 18th century it was occupied by a fishery and in 1814 the Old Dominion Iron and Nail Company completed and nail factory out there. During the 1860's, it was inhabited by a village that had a school, church and a general store. This is something that I didn't know about till I just read it.


I thought a different color to the photo looking up the river would change the mood. I think it looks pretty cool. I wonder if the river looked a lot like it is today when the village was there. What do you think?


A couple were taking advantage of the 5 feet below normal sign where anyone can traverse the rapids with out a permit. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. Man I need a kayak.


This is a walk way over a spill way where they take in water for the power plant. Virginia Electric Power Company built and operated a hydroelectric power plant on the island between the years of 1980 and 1963. This is the original gate where they took the water to the plant out that is down river and I have photos on down below. It is also the walk way that many people use to get to the rock scramble on the South side of the Isle. Great place to go have fun.



My father has a bad knee so I was surprised that he said he would go out on the rocks today with me so he climbed down the ladder at the end of the spill way walk way. :P I had to edit out his face sorries lol


This is the rock scramble over on the south side of the Isle. Some more history. The island was used as a prison for Union soldiers during the Civil War and between 1862 and 1865 it was home to 30,000 prisoners of war and about 1,000 died there. After the war was over the nail factory re-opened and stayed that way till 1972. Here is a link to a list of soldiers that were buried on Belle Isle.


Riverside Apartments, one of the first high rise apartments in Richmond.


Some water squeezing on by


That over there is where the hydroelectric power plant is. It is empty as you will be able to tell in a few more shots.


Another shot of the old power plant. It had three turbines as you can see at the bottom of the building.


What the now inside of the Power plant looks like has graphitti on the walls. Stunt artist climb to heights and tag there gang name or a message.




Places where once there was a power generator is now empty space and hole where a rod came through.


Looking thought the hole of the above picture. Inside is where it housed the turbine that the water turned and the hole in the middle of the room is where the water would fall and then go under the building to the river on the other side.


I managed to slip through the little hole and int that room where the turbine once was.I took a picture of where I came though and my dad (who has the edited face in the hole)was looking through to make sure I didn't fall where the water use to fall lol. There was just a lot of debris there like wood, fence, trashcan, a chair and dirt.




Another spooky entrance to another abandon building on the Power plant grounds.


I am not sure what this building was used for. Maybe they ran power lines through it since there is ceramic tubes in the building in the walls.


Another old building on the Isle that is a few hundred yards from the power plant but this building is from way earlier. Maybe from the old village but probably from the civil war.



This is a photo of the Lee bridge (Route 1 & 301)The original Lee Bridge was built over the island like this one in 1934 and was replaced in 1988 with this one.


Skyline of the City of Richmond Virginia. The bigger building out in front is the Feral Reserve. There are only 12 in the country. Apparently 49% of the floor space of this tall building is underground.... awesome. Another piece f interesting information is that the same buy who designed the building itself also design the Wold Trade Center Twin Towers that went down on September 11th. Here is the link to the Federal Reserve information on Wikipedia



Here is another link to more information about the Civil War and Belle Isle's involvement in the affair.
All the other information that I provided I got from Wikipeida's webpage on Belle Isle

Down below I offer a map of the Island if you want to take a look and click on to find your way there :)
View Larger Map

All of the images are mine! I hope you enjoyed them and it really is a great park. I hope that you get the chance to go and see!

Samshio ©

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