Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Overshot Waterwheel

 
 
Overshot Waterwheel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
1. Overshot Waterwheel Marker
Inscription. This is a reconstruction of one of many waterwheels used on this site. It is called an overshot wheel because the water flows over the top. The Tredegar Iron Works used waterwheels from its founding in 1836 until the 1870s when turbines were installed. Two different wheels were located here, powering foundry blowers and an early machine shop.

No photographs of these waterwheels exist. Information from maps, insurance policies, and company records was used to reconstruct this waterwheel, as well as photographs of wheels of the same era.

After the James River and Kanawha canal was constructed in the 1780’s, industries began to use its water for power. Thomas Rutherfoord’s flour mill was the first, and insurance plans show the waterwheels it employed. Later, the Tredegar Iron Works built a spike mill in the same location.
 
Location. 37° 32.11′ N, 77° 26.738′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Tredegar Street 0.1 miles west of South 5th Street. Click for map. This marker is located outside the Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works. Marker is at or near this postal address: 470 Tredegar Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Visitor Center
Overshot Waterwheel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
2. Overshot Waterwheel Marker
(a few steps from this marker); Southern Firepower (a few steps from this marker); Historic Tredegar (within shouting distance of this marker); Toledo 1000-ton Press (within shouting distance of this marker); Gateway to the Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Industrial Patterns (within shouting distance of this marker); Adapting Power (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Turbine (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
 
More about this marker. The background of the panel is a diagram displaying the locations of waterwheels throughout the Tredegar area. The caption reads, “Based on a map found in the carpenter’s shop during construction, this diagram shows the location of waterwheels from c.1799 to 1871 and the buildings they powered.”

These include: “Rutherford Flour Mill/J.R. Anderson & Co. Spike Mill c. 1799-1859; J.R. Anderson & Co. Rolling Mill c.1837-1869; Richmond Manufacturing Co. Cotton Mill c.1832-1850; Virginia Foundry
Overshot Waterwheel image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
3. Overshot Waterwheel
Co. (Later J.R. Anderson) Foundry c.1837-1863; Crenshaw Flour/Woolen Mill c.1854-1863; Corn Mill c.1803-1829; Machine Shops c. 1842-1863; R. Archer & Co. / J.R. Anderson & Co. (Armory) Rolling Mill c.1847-1867.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. (Submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Ruins of State Arsenal (overshot waterwheel) image. Click for full size.
Apr 1865
4. Ruins of State Arsenal (overshot waterwheel)
Library of Congress [LC-B817- 7030]
Ruins of Gallego Mills (overshot waterwheel) image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 6, 2009
5. Ruins of Gallego Mills (overshot waterwheel)
Library of Congress [LC-B817- 7177]
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 910 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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