Petersburg was one of the very few industrial cities in the South at the time of the Civil War. Petersburg was the hub of a transportation canal system and had a power canal that diverted water around a falls in the Appomattox river. The diversion canal powered early mills, some of which are still standing. The historic industrial district follows Commerce street Southwest of downtown. Petersburg has an impressive collection of industrial, commercial and residential buildings from the first half of the 1800s. A few of the old mill buildings are being redeveloped as condos and offices. Others are abandoned and deteriorating.
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