It was so much easier to jump on a trolley and head to Richmond to shop at Thalhimer’s or to Petersburg for lunch and tea especially if you didn’t have a car, which at the time of the trolley that rolled down Jefferson Davis Highway was the only way to go north or south along Route 1. It stopped at designated locations like the one still standing in Bensley.
The electric trolley system initially ran from Manchester, which was part of Chesterfield at the time, 1909, to the DuPont plant. According to Chesterfield: An old Virginia County by Francis Lutz, “An electric line through Chesterfield was realized and was built by the Richmond and Petersburg Electric Railway Company.
“By 1945 the line was defunct and was superseded by bus service.
In its early years,” wrote Lutz, “The electric line was the scene of many gay trolley parties on hot summer nights. Cars would be chartered, gaily decorated and the young people would talk, sing, strum musical instruments, probably snatch a kiss or two and have a jolly time as the Chesterfield breezes played though the open sides of the ‘summer’ cars. The inelegant word ‘necking’ had not as yet found its way into the vocabulary.”
The trolley ran down Jefferson Davis Highway veered onto Chester Road until it reached Chester where the tracks crossed what is now the CSX railroad line and then turned south again on the route that is Harrowgate Road. Photo contributed by Harold Jackson.