Richmond and its surrounding counties are still strongly associated with the Civil War since the Virginia capital served as the seat of the Confederate government from 1861 to 1865. Tredegar Iron Works, the leading ordnance foundry known as the "Ironmaker to the Confederacy," was located in Richmond on the north side of the James River. Many Civil War conflicts took place in the region including the battles of the Seven Days Campaign and Cold Harbor, and culminated with the Richmond evacuation fire of April 1865 and the fall of the capital.
In the antebellum period the city was a commercial nexus due in part to the James River and Kanawha Canal, completed in 1851. Important industries included flour mills and tobacco. Currently the area's major employers are finance, state government, and tourism.
Well known for its antebellum architecture, the city of Richmond also contains many excellent examples of Art Deco government buildings and of elaborate scrolling ironwork in the houses of the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Richmond and its surrounding counties are an economically vibrant area with a growing population that has nonetheless maintained a firm foothold in its historic past.