The Bellwood Elk Story
The Bellwood elk are well known throughout the Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, and around the nation. They are often the first feature visitors ask to see. The elk are a living link to historic Bellwood Farms and show the post’s commitment to retaining the cultural, historic and environmental landscape.
James Bellwood was the last private owner of the land that Defense Supply Center Richmond occupies. Bellwood was a highly respected and successful farmer. He was also an animal enthusiast, so he set aside acreage on his property for a wooded park where deer, rabbits, and other wildlife could live and roam freely.
Around 1900, Bellwood imported a pair of elk from Yosemite National Park and Washington State to start a herd on his land. According to newspaper and magazine articles of the time, the elk became an immediate hit with both the family and the community. With plenty of forage and room to graze, the herd multiplied to more than 20 during the time Bellwood owned the land. On weekends, hundreds of visitors would take the Richmond- Petersburg trolley to picnic and enjoy Bellwood’s animal park.
After Mr. Bellwood’s death, his family decided to sell the land; however, they were concerned about the future of their father’s beloved elk.
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