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Dawn on the Great Turning Basin - Print

Dawn on the Great Turning Basin

Limited Edition Print                    20 x 34 Inches                           $95 (Print Alone)

Over 140 years ago, in the very heart of what is now Richmond, Virginia’s commercial and financial district, there once existed a thriving commerce of a long forgotten era. Serving as the eastern terminal port on the 197 mile water portage system of the James River and the Kanawha Canal, Richmond was the funnel through which goods and materials passed to sailing vessels in the lower James and out to sea.

Strategically constructed in the center of the commercial district was a huge man-made body of water known as the “Great Basin.” It was three blocks long, from 8th Street to 11th Street and one block wide, from Basin Bank Street (just inside of Cary) to Canal Street. In the present-day parking lot between 8th and 9th streets one can still see the cobblestone street and granite border of Bank Basin Street depicted on the left in this painting.

The Great Turning Basin served as a terminal for canal freighters and packet (passenger) boats to unload, turn around and prepare for their return trips westward on the Kanawha Canal. The basin was surrounded by tobacco warehouses, mills, foundries and related industry. It was also a perfect source for controlled water power for one of Richmond’s largest flour mills: The Gallego Flour Mills, featured in the center of the painting. The Gallego Mills boasted the largest brick building in Richmond in its day and had 32 millstones in operation, shipping its flour to distant ports as far as South America and Europe.

Using old engravings, an 1856 watercolor, and several historical photos as reference sources for this original oil painting, life has been recreated as it once looked, bustling with commercial activity one early morning years ago on the Great Turning Basin of the Kanawha Canal in the exact location of the James Center today, as shown here . . .

Current Day View of the Site of Dawn on the Great Turning Basin

Modern Day View of the Original Site for Dawn on the Great Turning Basin

Oil on Canvas                   16 x 24 Inches                           $1200 Framed