From Sister City to South Richmond. Located on the southern side of the James River across from Richmond, Manchester was known for its many mills and factories, which produced flour, textiles, iron products and tobacco. This industrial center along the James River and busy retail center along Hull Street helped Manchester expand its economy, population and infrastructure. Despite being physically connected by bridges over the James River to Richmond and economically through their industries, Manchester trailed Richmond in size, development and influence. In 1910 the two cities merged and a new bridge was constructed for residents to cross the river free of charge.
A nickname that has stuck through the test of time yet no one can really confirm the origin. Rumors are that Manchester had a lot of dogs roaming the area. Some say it is due to the district’s shape resembling the head of a dog. Others recall it was a phrase used for Manchester students of John Marshall High School after the 1910 consolidation. Or it got coined the name “Dogtown” because Manchester never collected enough revenue to be run properly.
As Manchester evolved from village to town to city, Hull Street developed into its commercial core. In recent years, historic houses and industrial buildings have been rehabilitated to be reused as apartments, condominiums, retail stores or restaurants. Residents and developers are reshaping the area while striving for historic preservation.
Manchester has the best of both worlds- urban convenience and lots of outdoorsy fun. Drive across the bridge to get to downtown within minutes, reach access to Interstate 95 easily or take advantage of the multiple river access points to go paddling, hiking, lounging, and general frolicking with the best views of Richmond’s skyline. Manchester is becoming a more walkable and bikeable community where miles of beautiful trails can be explored. Here are a few things to do and visit in Manchester:
- Legend Brewing Company; Richmond’s Regions oldest Craft Brewery
- Plant Zero; Art and Event Complex + Cafe
- Artworks Gallery; Support Local Artists
- Access to Belle Isle, Brown’s Island, and Ancarrow’s Landing
- Floodwall Park; Scenic Views
- Richmond Railroad Museum
- The many wonderful restaurants and retail stores
It’s an exciting time to witness such immense change in this part of the city and watch the community expand. The Southside neighborhood continues to grow with new apartments and businesses opening up everywhere you turn. We look forward to seeing what this area of the region will carry on with and offer!
Interested to live or invest in this part of town? Let’s chat and figure out a game plan for you!