Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Belle Isle and the James River Falls - 1908

For those like me that always wondered exactly what the steel skeletons on Belle Isle looked like in their heyday, I present this aerial shot from 1908. Honestly, I was surprised at the number of buildings in this picture. If any foundations remain for a lot of these structures, they're buried under dirt, grass and trees. I'm glad this island was designated part of the James River Park System in 1973, because it allowed the island to return to the mostly wild state we all enjoy today.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress


  1. There's also that earlier Belle Island with the cannon on it.

    What is amazing is the lack of trees back then compared to now.

  2. I looked at the little island in the foreground for 3 or 4 minutes before I realized that Belle Isle was that BIG island in the background with all of the buildings. Holy cow!