The city of Richmond, Virginia is home to historical landmarks, arts and culture and a wide variety of museums as well as opportunities for outdoor activities. One Richmond landmark, however, is very unique.
Monument Avenue, located in the city's Fan district, has the distinction of the being the only street in the United States that is a National Historic Landmark. The tree-lined street is home to several monuments. The first, of Robert E. Lee, was dedicated in 1890.
While one Richmond native is honored, most of the rest of the monuments are of Virginians who were Confederate participants in the Civil War. Below is a description of the monuments that can be found on the five mile long, residential avenue .
Robert E. Lee
This, the first monument dedicated on Monument Avenue, was shown to the public for the first time in May of 1890. Lee was the only man who commanded both northern and southern troops in the Civil War. He fought in many famous battles including the Battle of Gettysburg.
Stuart fought in many battles including Gettysburg, Antietam and Fredericksburg. He died in 1864 at only 31 years of age. The Stuart monument was dedicated in May of 1907.
Confederate president Jefferson Davis was a staunch supporter of the southern way of life, including slavery. Upon his death in 1889 he was buried in Louisiana, but his body was moved to Richmond in 1893. His monument was dedicated in June of 1907.
Thomas Jonathon Jackson is better known as Stonewall Jackson. He earned the nickname thanks to the bravery he showed at the Battle of Bull Run. Observers of the battle said that Jackson could be seen "standing like a stone wall''. He was accidently shot by his own men and died at age 39. His monument was unveiled in October of 1919.
Matthew Fontaine Maury
The Maury Monument was dedicated in 1929. It celebrates the man who is credited with developing the electronic torpedo. Maury is also known for his work in navigation and oceanography. He died in 1873.
Arthur Ashe is the only African-American honored on Monument Avenue. He was an incredible athlete and won over 50 titles during his tennis career. As much as for his tennis, he is known for the work that he did to help underprivileged children and to remove racial and socioeconomic barriers. His monument, the last to be erected on the avenue, was dedicated in July of 1996.
While many tourists visit the landmark throughout the year, an influx of visitors comes during Confederate History Month, which is celebrated in some southern states in April. During this time, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will gather in period costumes to remember the history of those who fought as confederate soldiers in the Civil War.