Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




An overview of Midlothian from its beginning and particularly for the century 1835 to 1935 reveals a village (unincorporated) that developed to house and provide necessities for the people working in the coal mines. The same village continued to survive when the mines closed because the railroad that had come through the village to serve the local people, provided both freight and passenger services, jobs, and transportation to jobs in Richmond. As more people bought cars and trucks the railroad service dwindled but continued to provide passenger service for the entire first half of the twentieth century. Richmond took a giant step toward Midlothian in 1912 when it annexed Manchester, but Midlothian remained a village. Better highways and more automobiles encouraged people to move away from the city and a few were built in Bon Air and Midlothian. It was not until well after World War II, however, that Midlothian became a suburb of Richmond.

In 1935 and as late as 1975, descendants of the French Huguenots, English settlers, early miners and railroad workers and slaves continued to live in Midlothian -- many of them on the land of their ancestors. Midlothian was a village, slow to change, conservative in nature, peaceful and easy-going. Religious and moral values were important and family and community ties were strong. It was a vital community, steeped in the history of mining but kept alive by the railroad.

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