1670: British Col. Thomas Stegge Jr., inherits a vast tract called the Falls Plantation from his father, and having no heirs, gives 5,075 acres on both sides of the James River to his nephew, William Byrd. A canal, mill race and two mills are built along the south bank's falls.
1737: The cluster of warehouses and wharves on the south side of the river known is known as Rocky Ridge. William Byrd II asks John Mayo (pictured) to lay out streets. In court, Mayo claims ownership of the town common. He loses.
1769: Rocky Ridge incorporates as Manchester.
A Downtown Undivided
1781: British Maj. Gen. William Philips destroys warehouses in Richmond and Manchester. Gov. Thomas Jefferson, having fled his executive residence, watches Richmond burn, probably from a Manchester house. 1785: John Mayo is granted a charter to construct a toll bridge between Richmond and Manchester, on the site of the present 14th Street bridge. The bridge is washed out repeatedly by floods. 1812-13: Prominent Manchester streets (Hull, Bainbridge, Porter, Perry and Decatur) are named for famed U.S. naval officers. 1831: A gravity-powered tramway begins operating from Midlothian coal mines to the Manchester docks. It operates until 1856. Rail runs from Manchester to Danville by 1847. Manchester becomes a center for commerce. 1865: On April 2, retreating Confederate soldiers burn Mayo's Bridge. 1869: Ballard T. Edwards, an educator and housing artisan, born a free black in Manchester, is elected to the Virginia House of Delegates where he serves until 1877. He successfully argues to restore the State Capitol after its 1870 collapse, lobbies for the Free or Ninth Street/Manchester Bridge and for integrated public transportation. 1871: The Colonial Revival Manchester Courthouse is completed, designed by Albert West. 1871-1874: Manchester is made the temporary seat for Chesterfield County. 1874: Manchester is granted city status by the General Assembly. 1885: Manchester and Richmond Street Railway begins operation. Initially drawn by horse and mule, the system is electrified in the 1890s. 1886: The Reformers Mercantile and Industrial Association, an African-American owned business, constructs a two-story brick building at 1324 Hull St. Much altered, it remains. 1899: Gothic-style Central United Methodist Church, designed by D. Wiley Anderson, is completed at 13th and Porter streets. 1901: Sacred Heart Catholic Church is built by Fritz Sitterding at 14th and Perry streets, with funds contributed by Mrs. Thomas Fortune Ryan, wife of the Virginia financier. The church today holds services in English and Spanish; its school, closed in 1990, operates as the community nonprofit Sacred Heart Center. 1905: The community's first full-service department store, the Baldwin Building, designed by prominent Richmond architect D. Wiley Anderson, opens at 1209 Hull St. Later, it became the Manchester Thalhimers and, finally, a bookstore. 1910: April 4, in a vote of 513 to 222, Manchester votes to join Richmond. The formal annexation takes place April 15. Manchester's population is 9,715. 1913: The concrete, Art Deco-style Mayo's Bridge is completed. 1958: Southside Plaza opens, beginning a drain from Hull Street-based commerce. Cloverleaf Mall's opening in 1972 draws away more shoppers. 1970s: Overnite Transportation headquarters opens. Overnite founder J. Harwood Cochrane, a major philanthropist, amasses 160 parcels of land in Manchester and demolishes old structures. He gives the land to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 1970: Public housing opens along Dinwiddie Avenue in Blackwell. These multifamily units are interspersed between single-family houses. 1995-96: Crestar Bank Operations Headquarters complex is constructed on Semmes Avenue at 10th Street. It later becomes SunTrust. 1997: The south bank of the floodwall is completed, preventing upper Manchester's streets from flooding. 1999: In March, the city begins dismantling public housing as part of the federal HOPE VI revitalization project. Richmond Police leave the satellite station, housed in the 1910 post office. It reopens in 2010 as apartments.
2000: Imani Intergenerational Community Development Corp., a nonprofit revitalization arm of South Richmond's First Baptist Church, purchases properties in the 1400 block of Hull, including the 1925 Venus Theatre. The Imani Mews residential and commercial center opens in 2006.
2000: Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation, which grew from the Richmond Christian Center, purchases the Charles M. Robinson-designed Matthew F. Maury School on Bainbridge Street. It opens two years later after a $5.4 million renovation with low-cost senior housing.
2002: A VCU study concludes that 40 percent of Manchester's land is vacant.
2002: The Manchester Residential-Commercial Historic District is recognized by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, after 10 years of civic effort.
2004: Plant Zero Arts Center opens.
2005: In July, the Virginia Museum Real Estate Foundation sells 178 parcels of land for $5 million. Robin Miller & Associates buy 153 parcels; Sam McDonald and Charles MacFarland of Manchester Partners purchase the remaining 25.
2006: The Manchester Residential and Commercial Historic District is entered on the National Register of Historic Places.
January 2010: Richmond Manchester General District Court re-opens after renovation and expansion.
March 2010: The city planning commission sends to City Council a recommendation for rezoning more than 700 properties in the old industrial and manufacturing district of Manchester, allowing for greater flexibility in commercial and residential uses, and parking.