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Young’s Pond Dam



U. S. Department of the Interior National Park Service
Joseph Bryan Park Richmond, VA

Dam/Causeway on Lower Young’s Pond
The current dam is constructed on the original location of a millpond dam built in the late
1700s. It was the power source for a gristmill and sawmill. Ice-harvesting facilities and ice-pits
were also nearby. The dam may have been reconstructed several times. The WPA workforce
and the City’s Park Bureau constructed the existing reinforced-concrete causeway and dam in
1937. The concrete post and chain side railings date from 1958-1959.




LE POD D’ O3 weather cam



2 responses

  1. Background on the Bryan Park Historical District–
    Landscape Evolution:
    In the late 1700s, the park site was part of a 558-acre plantation/ estate known as
    “Westbrook”, owned by William Young. The western portion of the estate (now Bryan Park)
    contained a mill and millpond, and was known as Young’s Pond. In 1832, Augustus Mordecai
    married William Young’s only daughter Rosina, and built a home and working farm on the
    western portion she had inherited, calling it “Rosewood” in her honor.
    The site’s topography still reveals its early origins; Bryan Park’s layout is founded on the
    Rosewood estate’s original road network, farming areas, and water features. On Young’s Pond,
    the millpond, dam, and lower stream bed make it easy to visualize the site of two centuries ago.
    Vestiges of old farm roads can be found throughout the Park. The high, flat central plateau, now
    containing soccer fields, once was used for farming and pasture. In the back parts of the park,
    the streams, ravines, and deep woods seem untouched by change.
    In 1909, Rosewood was sold at an auction and given to the City of Richmond as a
    memorial park to commemorate Joseph Bryan. From 1909 to 1912, the City transformed the
    estate into a public park, revealing the strong influence of the “City Beautiful” movement, the first
    important movement in American City planning. The park’s landscape style can be classified as
    “English naturalistic”; this style manifested by vistas of grassy hills, large specimen trees and
    groves, picturesque ponds and streams, winding carriage trails, and wooded areas. Structures,
    roads and trails, fixtures and furnishings reflected the “rustic aesthetic” utilized by the National
    Park Service for its major parks in the early twentieth century. “The goal of the Park Bureau was
    to establish a naturalistic landscape that afforded visitors a retreat from the City.” (City Annual
    Report, 191 8)
    Between 191 0 and 1912, the City erected a large entrance gateway to memorialize
    Joseph Bryan, constructed the Gatekeepers House, and worked on improving pathways, trees,
    and groves. Over the next forty years rustic picnic shelters, elegant concrete bridges, camping
    and dormitory facilities were built and roadway improvements, tree planting, and landscaping
    were undertaken.

    March 3, 2017 at 10:08 pm

  2. March 3, 2017 at 10:12 pm

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