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The Short Pump Story

The pump is long gone. But the name remains. According to legend, Nineteenth-century stage coach drivers hailed each other just beyond the fork where Broad Street now crosses Three Chopt Road. A tavern stood there, and its rambling frame structure became a beacon along the well-traveled road.

At one time the Short Pump well stood out in the tavern yard, but when a new shade porch was built over it, a mistake was made. The pump’s long handle had to be cut off to work under the new roof, and it then became a short handled pump. In the days when the tavern was a stagecoach stop between Richmond and Charlottesville, drivers would often say, "See you at the Short Pump."

Today "Short Pump" has lots of fresh water at the turn of a faucet, but the quaint name lives on! The fountain at Short Pump Plaza has one large "short pump" in the center with eight pumps encircling it on the outer wall as a commemoration to the namesake.

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