Southwest Virginia sign at Heartwood in Abingdon, Virginia
In the southwestern corner of Richmond, Virginia’s Capitol Square, at the intersection of Ninth and Franklin Streets, the red brick Bell Tower has stood since 1824. It was once used for a guard house and the bell warned of fires. During the Civil War, the bell sounded when Federal troops approached the city. More recently, it was an office for Lt. Gov. Charles S. Robb (1978-82), and the Capitol Square Preservation Council. It now serves as a Visitor Center for Virginia Tourism.
This is the ceremonial mace, historically a symbol of authority and power, currently in use in the Virginia House of Delegates. The mace is Edwardian-style in silver, with a 24 karat gold wash. It is reinforced with wood, and has four sections with designs of oak leaves, acorns, and flowers that resemble the Virginia state flower, the dogwood.
The mace was made in England in 1938 and passed through several owners before being purchased by an art dealer. It was purchased by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation and presented to the House in 1974. Each day that the House is in session, the mace is placed in the House chamber by the sergeant-at-arms. When not in use, the mace is on display in the old hall of the House of Delegates.