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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)
 

Raceways

 
 
Raceways Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
1. Raceways Marker
Inscription. As you explore the grounds of the Tredegar Iron Works, you will occasionally see evidence of underground networks. Below the ground are numerous “raceways,” tunnels of stone and brick, which carried water downhill from the canal to provide water power to the various industrial facilities. The raceways powered water wheels during the mid-nineteenth century which were replaced by more efficient turbines after the Civil War.
 
Location. 37° 32.14′ N, 77° 26.754′ 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: 500 Tredegar Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. President Lincoln Visits Richmond (within shouting distance of this marker); Adapting Power (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Turbine (within shouting distance of this marker); Toledo 1000-ton Press (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Industrial Patterns (within shouting
Underground raceway to the left of the marker. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
2. Underground raceway to the left of the marker.
distance of this marker); The Bulldozer Press (within shouting distance of this marker); Tredegar Iron Works (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cupola Furnace and Foundry (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left are photographs of an underground raceway and gate with the caption, “You are standing next to one of the most complex raceways on the Tredegar site. Looking up the hill toward the stone wall, you are lined up with the underground course of the raceway. Water came through the metal gate at the stone wall. The water was first channeled into a “forebay,” a holding tank for water, and then into a set of turbines, the water falling over twenty feet.”

On the lower left is a photograph of a forebay with the caption, “After powering the turbines above, the water continued its underground journey down the hill, rushing past your current position. The water then entered another holding tank, or forebay, which was just below the black metal flooring between the two buildings. Tubes or penstocks carried it downward another 22 feet to the turbines
Metal gate at the stone wall image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
3. Metal gate at the stone wall
beside the Pattern Building next to the parking lot.”

On the right is a map of the Tredegar site raceways with the caption, “Found in a building at the Tredegar Iron Works, this map shows the raceways and waterwheels used on the site from 1800 to 1935.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on November 7, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. (Submitted on November 7, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Overshot Waterwheel image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
4. Overshot Waterwheel
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 640 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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