The Main Street District is also known as Shockoe, where Virginia's General Assembly first began to meet on 14th Street near the port (now called Dock Street). 14th Street used to be called Pearl Street because pearls were harvested here long ago. Pearls were worn as adornments and offerred to sacred sites by the indigenous before traders sold them as jewerly and buttons to their extinction. 14th Street runs into the Mayo Bridge, named after William Mayo, an engineer, who laid out the street grid for early Richmond in the Shockoe district. The Mayo Bridge crosses the James River as the enslaved would have from ships. The 3 mile Richmond Slave Trail includes 17 narration stops that stretch from Manchester Docks (in Southside) across the river into the Shockoe District. Look down to the bridge sidewalk for Richmond Slave Trail markers. Look up crossing the Mayo Bridge and you will find 20 obelisks (tekhenu); melded with bridge design. The tekhenu symbolized the opening of spiritual gateways. It is the oldest monument form known to humanity, originally found in the Kingdom of Kush. They are recognized as egyptian or Kemet fixtures, because they were stolen from Egypt and erected in major government centers around the world such as Rome, Paris and London. Standing on the bridge with 14th Street observation toward downtown Richmond is viewing the location of an ancient mound.
Walk north on 14th Street. At 14th and Dock Street visit the interpretative signage and the Canal Walk.