The Heath Gravity Railroad

The Heath Gravity Railroad (HMVKR)

Location: Midlothian, VA 23113 Chesterfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 32.131', W 77° 38.243'

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Some 500 feet beyond this point along both sides of Salisbury Road, roadbed remains of the Heath Gravity Railroad are visible. The railroad ran through this area from 1838 until approximately 1850. It was used to transport coal mined from the Midlothian area for use in the Richmond iron foundries and in Richmond homes for heat. This carefully engineered six-mile railroad moved coal by horse and by gravity from a ridge line in the present-day Sycamore Square area through Salisbury to a point on the James River west of Bellona Arsenal. The coal was loaded onto bateaux which transported it across the river and then east on the Kanawha Canal.

The rails and ties of the railroad within Salisbury were removed and used in the construction of the nearby former Richmond and Danville Railroad (now Norfolk Southern) and for repairing this same railroad, and others, during the Civil War.

The coal mines of the Midlothian area represent the earliest systematic excavation of fossil fuel in the United States.

The 18.26 acres along this entrance corridor were deeded by the Salisbury Corporation in April, 2004, to the Salisbury Homeowners Association, which owns and maintains this area for the enjoyment of Salisbury residents.
Year Placed2007
Placed BySalisbury Homeowners Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 4:44pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 266970 N 4157550
Decimal Degrees37.53551667, -77.63738333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 32.131', W 77° 38.243'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 32' 7.86" N, 77° 38' 14.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2820-2822 Salisbury Rd, Midlothian VA 23113, US
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