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Chapter 4 - Tredegar Iron Works

Greeting the reenactors from across the street were silent black protestors, lining the walk along the refurbished Haxall Flour Mill Canal.

 

They sashayed on down the sidewalk to their destination, the gun foundry.

 

Though the foundry didn’t look like much more than an oversized brick barn with a smokestack, it had been part of the Confederacy’s most valuable industrial asset, Tredegar Iron Works.

 

The building once wheezed, fumed, and hissed with manufacturing activity but was now part of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, filled with exhibits and artifacts.

 

Gordon and Pat made their way over to the bar, set up in front of a Brooke rifled cannon cast at the iron works.

 

The women laughed together as Pat, Raleigh, and Gordon approached a big man watching a waterwheel turn.

 

The men exited the party out the back of the courtyard through crumbling brick archways. The ruins, though reminiscent of the Richmond Evacuation Fire of 1865, were the remnants of Tredegar’s Central Foundry after the flood damage from Hurricane Agnes in 1972. They proceeded up a metal stairway,

 

avoiding eye contact with the Abraham and Tad Lincoln statue at the top.

 

The contingent ambled to the rear of the property to a building with a stepped gable roof,

 

backed up against the towpath of the dry James River and Kanawha Canal.

 

Embedded in the bank beside the structure that had served as Tredegar's company store was a set of old railroad-tie stairs that they walked up to reach the second floor. . . . It was all one room with small windows in the front and larger ones in the back.

Richmond Canal Walk

Tredegar Iron Works

Richmond National Battlefield Tredegar Visitor Center

The American Civil War Museum (Historic Tredegar)

James River and Kanawha Canal Historic District