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Boarding at the Packet Office

Boarding at the Packet Office

Limited Edition Print     Image Size: 15 X 20 inches      $65 (Edition Size: 900)

Also available, the Original Oil on Canvas                       16 x 20 Inches                       $3200 Framed

In the last century, the Packet Office, located in downtown Richmond, Virginia was the origin of much commercial traffic on the James River and Kanawha Canal. Standing at the corner of Eighth Street and the Canal where the Dominion Power building stands today, it was situated in the heart of Richmond’s commercial district of tobacco warehouses, flour mills and foundries at a time when Richmond was the vital link between the canal transportation above her and the navigable James River below. Raw materials, coal, wood and agricultural produce would be transported down the James River and Kanawha Canal into Richmond where they would be processed or milled, packaged and then loaded onto sailing vessels at Dock Street and shipped down the James and out to sea on tall-masted ships.

As depicted in this painting, the viewer is sitting atop a canal boat near Eighth and Canal looking west up Canal Street in the distance watching passengers as they board a packet (passenger) boat for the 5 p.m. departure to Lynchburg. After poling under the Seventh Street bridge on the upper left, the packet will be hitched to a pair of horses to begin its journey on the Kanawha Canal as it parallels the beautiful James River winding through scenic Virginia countryside along Goochland, Maidens, Scottsville, Howardsville and Wingina on its 146 mile voyage to Lynchburg and beyond. The trip came complete with delicious southern cooking, great conversation, overnight accomodations and splendid views from the upper deck. It was an era when time was in great supply and life moved as slow as the trot of a packet horse on the towpath of the Kanawha Canal.

One James River Plaza - Site of the Old Packet Office

One James River Plaza - Site of the Old Packet Office of the Kanawha Canal

Oil on Canvas                       16 x 24 Inches                       $1600 Framed

You are looking at the exact same view as above in the print “Boarding at the Packet Office”. The Parking lot on the right was once part of the Great Turning Basin of the Kanawha Canal system. Canal Street as you see it today was in the mid-1800's half canal and half street. Note the 7th Street bridge in the historic view where it crosses over the canal; the van in the modern view below is fast approaching that 7th street intersection! The packet boat in the historical view is moored right there on the corner of 8th and Canal, where in the modern view you see “One James Center Plaza” on the beveled wall. How times change!