RVA Legends — Richmond Ice Company

RVA Legends — Richmond Ice Company

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


Richmond Ice Company
1701 Dock Street
Established, 1866


For the men with ice in their veins.


The Richmond Ice Company, wholesale dealers in Kennebec-river ice on the south side of Dock Street, corner of Seventeenth, is successor to Captain A. G. Babcock, who established himself in that line here in 1866. The company was incorporated in 1881.

(LOC) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 14 — note the removal of the depot building above

It has $32 000 capital stock. It handles about 20,000 tons of Kennebec ice in the course of a year and 10,000 tons of coal—which business will amount to an aggregate of $100,000 a year — and employs, perhaps, 75 hands. It is a shipper to all points in the Carolinas, the Virginias, Georgia and Tennessee. It has the advantage of rail connection and transportation by water, is owner of the premises it occupies, and is proprietor also of a steam barge for unloading shipments made it.

[RVCJ03] — A. D. Landerkin

E. D. Haley is its president and treasurer and A. D. Landerkin its secretary and superintendent. Mr. Haley lives in Gardiner, Me., and is an ice dealer there and in New York. Mr. Landerkin was formerly with the Knickerbocker Ice Company, of Philadelphia, but has been here for the last eight years. He is a director of the Chamber of Commerce, and is one of the leading spirits in the movements undertaken by it and in public affairs generally. [RVCJ93]

(LOC) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Overview Plate

The area around Seventeenth and Dock Streets became a little complicated in 1901, when the C & O Railroad built both the James River Viaduct and the Peninsula Trestle. Now there was not only basin traffic to contend with, but also the smoke and noise of trains passing by on a timetable. It must have caused a few problems trying to keep the ice clean and free of soot.

June 2018

Today, the former location of Richmond Ice Company has been consumed by the Flood Wall and Canal Walk, and the Canal Basin no longer reaches the north side of Dock Street.

(Richmond Ice Company is part of the Atlas RVA Project)


  • [CDRVA] Chataigne’s Directory of Richmond, Va. J. H. Chataigne. 1881.
  • [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.
  • [RVCJ03] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1903.


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