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Share Your Stories: PlanRVA launches public history project for Ashland Trolley Line

To honor the Ashland Trolley Line’s history and integration into the Fall Line trail, PlanRVA, and its partners are launching a public history project to solicit stories and memories about the historic streetcar line and the neighborhoods that emerged around it.

Trevor Dickerson

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For over three decades, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Ashland Trolley Line connected the city of Richmond to the town of Ashland. From 1907-1938, the streetcar line played a major role in the development of neighborhoods along its 14.8-mile route that took 40 minutes for a one-way trip.

Today the corridor represents a significant portion of the upcoming Fall Line trail, a multi-use trail stretching across seven localities from Ashland to Petersburg.

To honor the Ashland Trolley Line’s history and integration into the Fall Line trail, PlanRVA, and its partners are launching a public history project to solicit stories and memories about the historic streetcar line and the neighborhoods that emerged around it. Collected stories will be featured along the Fall Line route.

Local historians and experts will talk about the Ashland Trolley Line’s impact on the region’s past, present, and future at Virginia Union University’s Wall Auditorium on February 23 from 6-7:30 p.m. The event is a kick-off for a series of public meetings along the historic corridor. Anyone interested in the history of the Ashland Trolley Line is invited to attend. Registration is free.

Presenters will include Bill Martin of The Valentine and staff members from PlanRVA and the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, along with others.

The event is organized by PlanRVA, Virginia Union University, and the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.

PlanRVA organizers have begun to compile history and stories on the project’s website.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.