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Richmond Then and Now: Stone House at Forest Hill Park

A then and now snapshot of Richmond.





The original source of photo unknown but there is a version on RTD Archives with the following text:

Trolley at Forest Hill Park, circa 1910. Standing at left of the trolley in the dark suit is Richmond businessman T. J. Cousins. In 1889, the property that would become Forest Hill Park was sold to the Southside Land and Improvement Company, and became a terminus for the Forest Hill trolley, part of one of the first successful trolley systems in the United States. To attract passengers to the countryside, the residence on the property was converted into a trolley terminus and an elaborate amusement park was built on the grounds, complete with carousel, roller coaster, fun house, dance hall, penny arcade, and golf course. The park also included a bath house, swimming area, and boat lake. The park remained a popular Richmond attraction until it closed in 1932 due to the economic constraints of the Great Depression.

Forest Hill Neighborhood Association has a nice brief history of the property as well.

If you’re interested in seeing some great pictures of Richmond from the eyes of a streetcar operator find a copy of  “From A Richmond Streetcar Life Through the Lens of Harris Stilson”.

In the 1900s Harris Stilson worked as a streetcar operator. His camera never left his side. He was constantly capturing the daily minutiae of Richmonders simply living. Looking at his photos is the closest you can come to a time machine. Harris’ great-granddaughter, Kitty Snow went through his collection and published the book.




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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.