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RVA Legends — St. Luke’s Hospital

A look into the history of Richmond places and people that have disappeared from our landscape.

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1000 West Grace Street
Built, 1898 – 1901
Demolished, unknown
Architect, Baskervill & Son

Right across from where the Village used to be, there stood a hospital.

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This is one of the main Hospitals of Richmond, which, with the Medical Colleges, have made the City known for and wide as a health resort. Richmond Hospitals are second to none.

Drs. Hunter and Stuart McGuire’s private sanatorium, corner of Grace and Harrison Streets, Richmond, Va.

st-lukes-002

(Valentine Museum) 1968. Graduates from the School of Nursing at St. Luke’s Hospital; the young women, in white uniforms and caps, stand in a row in front of a small stage; they are, l-r: Constance Hagen Berry, Lucye Donna Duke, Betty Jo Andrews, Carolyn Marie Makela, Hattye Leigh Shelton and Katharine Ives Taylor.

St. Luke’s was founded in 1883 by Dr. Hunter McGuire, a Winchester native. The surgeon, one of the most esteemed figures of the Confederacy, served Stonewall Jackson’s corps in the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1863, it was McGuire who amputated Jackson’s arm after a bullet wound that would prove fatal and he was present in April 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

A year after he opened St. Luke’s Hospital on West Grace Street, McGuire died, and his son, Dr. Stuart McGuire, took over. Despite closing its doors temporarily during World War I when the younger McGuire went to work in war-torn France, St. Luke’s later expanded. A fourth floor was added in 1906, and in the 1920s four contiguous townhouses, just west of the hospital, were added to the complex.

January 2015

January 2015

Today, the corner is the home of the Grace and Harrison, Broad and Ryland Student Housing, completed and occupied since the above photo was taken.

January 2015

January 2015

Curiously, in the acquisition of the postcard at top, the vendor included a surprise – almost unnoticed and thrown away! No note of explanation included, nothing to actually link it concretely with the hospital, other than the legend engraved on the stem.

And yet, this spoon might just be a survivor of the St. Luke’s cafeteria’s creamed chipped beef.


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RVA Legends is a regular series
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Community

Richmond Then and Now: Flooded Westover Hills Boulevard

A then and now snapshot of Richmond.

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The photo above is from the RTD photo archives with the caption, “In June 1969, drivers navigated a flooded Westover Hills Boulevard in South Richmond after heavy rainfall”. More like Wetover Hills Boulevard am I, right? I’ll see myself out.

Shoutout to the Volkswagen that drove by when I was taking this shot and almost in the exact spot of the Volkswagon in 1969. I could not have planned it better.

 

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Events

VMHC partnering with VPM to honor the centennial of the 19th Amendment with panel talk, new documentary

On Friday, August 14, the VMHC will host a live panel discussion with the historians featured in the film. They will share their insights on this pivotal movement Virginia’s history, and will also take questions from participants live during this virtual discussion.

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The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) is partnering with VPM to celebrate the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote this month. “These Things Can Be Done”, a documentary produced by Boedeker Films and with support from the Commonwealth of Virginia Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration in partnership with the VMHC, explores the often-overlooked narrative of women’s suffrage in Virginia will premier this Thursday, August 13 on VPM. To learn more about the film and see the trailer, visit SuffrageFilm.com.

On Friday, August 14, the VMHC will host a live panel discussion with the historians featured in the film. They will share their insights on this pivotal movement Virginia’s history, and will also take questions from participants live during this virtual discussion. Speakers on the program will be Barbara Batson from the Library of Virginia, Ajena Rogers from the Maggie Walker National Historic Site, Dr. Karen Sherry from the VMHC, Dr. Sandra Treadway from the Library of Virginia and Christina Vida from the Valentine. To participate online for free, participants can join the livestream at noon on Friday on the VMHC Facebook page or YouTube Channel.

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Community

RTD has the History of Nickel aka Boulevard Bridge

Learn more about our favorite bridge (that we can use) across the James. Mayo is a close second for those keeping track.

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Living only a few blocks from the historic bridge means it has a special spot in my heart. I’ve crossed it countless times both on foot and in the car. I’ve seen bald eagles, osprey, kayaks, rafts, inner tubes, and a fair share of questionable driving. With it be such a prominent part of my life it was fascinating to get more details on the bridge from RTD.

They’ve provided a nice timeline and photos. My favorite bit of new information:

Jan. 5, 1925 — Thousands of motorists availed themselves of the decided moderation in temperature, combined with the fact that yesterday was the last day that motorists and others were allowed to cross the structure free of toll charges, and “tried out” the Boulevard Bridge.

Hundreds of automobiles, from the flivver to the more pretentious high-powered car, crossed the bridge during the day. At times there were so many of the gasoline-propelled cars on the structure that progress was made only at a snail’s pace.

An attache of the Boulevard Bridge Corp. essayed to keep a tally of the cars crossing the structure and succeeded fairly well until he had counted 5,000. At that juncture, however, they were coming so fast and so thickly that he got lost in the mathematical jungle and gave up in despair.

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