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Short Pump Real Estate

Short Pump is near the northwest corner of Henrico County and has its own exit off Interstate 64. It’s been a meeting place throughout its 200-year history.

According to legend, it was named for a short-handled public water pump that once existed behind a tavern built in 1815 by Robert H. Saunders, a Revolutionary War veteran.

The tavern stood where several roads intersected with Deep Run Turnpike – to-day known as Broad Street. Many who were traveling from Richmond to Charlottesville would stop at the inn to water their horses, get a meal and perhaps spend the night.

The tavern expanded. A porch was built atop the water pump and there wasn’t enough clearance to give it a full stroke, according to research by Trevor Dickerson, a local historian. Rather than incur the expense of moving the pump, Saunders put a shorter handle on it.

¬†Travelers began calling the inn “The Short Pump Tavern.” And a road that led to the stop became “Short Pump Road.” And a massive farm nearby was dubbed “Short Pump Plantation.”

Today, the Broad Street entrance to a Wal-Mart Supercenter is paved over the site of the tavern. Busy shoppers cruise by a historical marker with barely a glance. “In the days when the tavern was a stagecoach stop between Richmond and Charlottesville,” the marker reads, “the drivers would often say, ‘I’ll see you at Short Pump.'”