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Richmond, like ancient Rome, is sometimes called a “city of seven hills.”  Yet what exactly are the seven hills of Richmond? Surprisingly, Chimborazo is not one of them.  According to a 1937 ordinance the “official” seven hills of Richmond are:

  1. (1)Shockoe Hill (named after Shockoe Creek, which ran along present day 15th street and at one time formed the western boundary of the Richmond settlement.  Shockoe comes from an American Indian word meaning “flat rock”)

  2. (2)Union Hill (named because it was a hill that was united or joined with Church Hill by roads and bridges in the late 1800s)

  3. (3)Council Chamber Hill (named because the first city council used to meet here),

  4. (4)French Garden Hill (named because a Frenchman named Didier Colin had a beautiful garden and a small amusement park on this hill in the late 1700s),

  5. (5)Navy Hill (named in honor of Virginia’s Naval heroes, or sailors, who fought during the War of 1812),

  6. (6)Church Hill (named because the first church in Richmond was on this hill, the famous St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry said his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech),

  7. (7)Gamble’s Hill (named after Colonel Gamble, an important Richmond citizen who lived and had a business on the hill.  He was buried at St.John’s Church).  

It’s hard to recognize many of these hills now because buildings and roads have been built over them.  Some of these hills have even been leveled and no longer exist.  However, when Richmond was just a small town back in the late 1700s and early 1800s, these hills stood out to its citizens.  Here’s a map of their approximate locations.  (You can move the map around... other important hills, including Chimborazo Hill, Oregon Hill, and Libby Hill, are marked with grey)

In this Solo podcast, David takes you to Chimborazo Park in Richmond, Virginia.  Learn why this site was significant to the Powhatan Indians; find out how it played an important role during the Civil War;  see a famous patriotic symbol from New York; and discover how Chimborazo was linked to people and places from our other Trekker podcasts (Shirley Plantation and Hollywood Cemetery).  Come on, let’s go trekkin’!

SOL Correlation:

1.11 The student will recognize the symbols and traditional practices that honor and foster patriotism in the United States by

a) identifying the American flag, bald eagle, Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty;

VS.3 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by

g) describing the interactions between the English settlers and the Powhatan people, including the contributions of the Powhatans to the survival of the settlers. 

VS.7 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by

b) describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia.