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“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)
 

Basin Race

 
 
Basin Race Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 13, 2010
1. Basin Race Marker
Inscription. The Great Basin of the James River & Kanawha Canal covered three square blocks directly in front of this plaque: between Cary and Canal, and 8th and 12th Streets. By 1834, millers had realized the Basinís water could be used to turn waterwheels, and the Gallego Mills and the Franklin Paper Manufacturing paper mill opened. Basin hydropower was used until the early 20th century.

The Basin was large and elevated, and the water level could be maintained by flow from the Canal. The Canal Company leased water to the mills on a yearly basis, rated on the volume of the flow.

Franklin Paper was powered by a Basin-fed mill race which ran south between 8th and 9th Streets. It was the first paper mill in Richmond and later made the stock for Confederate currency. The site is occupied today by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Other ante-bellum facilities powered by the Basin race included the shops of the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad and an iron works.
 
Location. 37° 32.234′ N, 77° 26.333′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of South 8th Street and East Canal Street. Click for map. This marker is located along the Dominion Building plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 East Cary Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Basin Race image. Click for full size.
2. Basin Race
Section from 1876 map. Mill race exited west from arm on the south side of Great Basin, then flowed south to the Haxall Canal.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Downtown Richmond Millsites (here, next to this marker); Kanawha Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Canal Walk (within shouting distance of this marker); Evacuation of Richmond (within shouting distance of this marker); Evacuation Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); The First National Bank Building (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Great Turning Basin (approx. 0.2 miles away); Richmond Evacuation Fire (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a map of the "Basin Race" with the caption, "Section from 1876 map. Mill race exited west from arm on the south side of Great Basin, then flowed south to the Haxall Canal."

On the right is a period photo of the "Ruin of Franklin Paper Mill, 1865 (Photo by A. Russell, Courtesy of Library of Congress)"
 
Also see . . .  James River and Kanawha Canal Historic District. National Park Service (Submitted on January 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Antebellum South, USIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Ruins of paper mill; wrecked paper-making machinery in foreground image. Click for full size.
By Andrew J. Russell, April 1865
3. Ruins of paper mill; wrecked paper-making machinery in foreground
Library of Congress [LC-B815- 867]
Basin Race Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 13, 2010
4. Basin Race Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 790 times since then and 14 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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