This post first published in Mayor Tom Butt’s e-forum forum:
By Mayor Tom Butt
Baroness Harris claims that her Richmond is the original Richmond, dating from 1071, established by the Normans when they built a castle on ‘riche mont’ – or strong hill. Next year, 2021, will mark the 950th celebration of Richmond’s founding. Since 1071, Richmond has become a popular name with more than 60 towns and cities and over 100 places worldwide sharing our name.
Richmond CA, of course, is one of them. Fifty years prior to the incorporation of the City of Richmond in 1907, it was Richmond, Virginia native Edmund Randolph who first put forth the name “Richmond” for the small city. Edmund served as State Assemblyman from San Francisco, and in 1854 he used his political weight to convince those behind a federal mapping survey of the Bay Area to establish the areas of Richmond and Point Richmond on the map. It would be another 51 years until the city was officially incorporated, by which time the name Richmond was already widely used.
Baroness Harris is contacting town halls, historic societies and libraries of cities named “Richmond” worldwide in the hope that they will help with the celebration. She intends to mount an exhibition with as many Richmonds of the world as possible, and is asking for photos, flags, pennants and any information on when our Richmond was founded and why it was so named.
She is also looking for any known links with people who came from Richmond CA, including any VIPs who would like to visit the original Richmond during the year 2021.
A useful source to find out more about her Richmond is https://www.richmond.org – this has a small section on Richmonds of the world https://www.globalrichmonds.org/introduction and there is also https://richmondsoftheworld.com.