Lead: One of America's foremost collectors of art as an adult expended great energy concealing her roots. Belle Huntington spent her youth as a barmaid in Shockoe Bottom.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Collis Potter Huntington was one of the founders of the Central Pacific, the West Coast link of the first Transcontinental Railroad. With the completion of that line in 1869, Huntington began to seek other outlets for his restless energy. One logical place to search was the South. Defeated and demoralized, Southerners were anxious to attract capital investment to help rebuild the region in the years following the Civil War. In 1868 Huntington came to Richmond, Virginia seeking to merge three ailing Virginia railroads into an effective southeastern network that could feed into his transcontinental lines. He secured an endorsement for the merger from Robert E. Lee and in 1870 he reorganized the Chesapeake and Ohio with himself as President.