You know, Richmond is such a modern and cutting edge place, it’s easy to forget that it’s been a staple in American history nearly since the beginning.
But it has!
As the capital of the Confederacy and one of the largest slave markets in the south (well, I didn’t say it was all positive history), there are millions of buried stories beneath our hipster-trodden sidewalks.
And plenty of spots in the area to tell those stories.
Residing in downtown Richmond is the White House and Museum of the Confederacy. Explore Civil War battles in depth, the variety of weapons, and the leaders who fought it. Learn about how the war affected civilians back home. Even wander through the carefully restored White House of the Confederacy (which, yes, was here in RVA, remember?) where Jefferson Davis very optimistically resided.
Or for a free dose of history, drive down Monument Avenue for a tour of controversial monuments dedicated to Confederate war heroes.
But Richmond doesn’t only dedicate its historic commemoration to white males. The Black History Museum was founded in 1981, and displays the accomplishments of African Americans in Virginia. It includes both rotating and permanent exhibits with historical African American music, photography, textiles, and art.
And just down the street is the Valentine Museum, which does a very thorough job of celebrating our city’s history, from centuries back all the way to today. It offers stories, artifacts, even neon signs, to display the city’s progression. I consider it Richmond’s museum for history on less textbook, more relatable topics.
There’s just nothing quite like walking on the sidewalks and cobblestones where hundreds of years of history have taken place. Oh…Richmond.