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Must-See RVA! — Rosa Bowser House

A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.

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November 2017

513 North Adams Street
Built, 1900

Like Maggie Walker, Rosa Bowser was a teacher and a tireless organizer.

[WOD] — Rosa Bowser, circa 1893

[WOD] — Rosa Bowser, circa 1893

Rosa L. Dixon Bowser, educator and civic leader, played a key role in implementing reforms that affected Virginia’s African Americans. Bowser was most likely born enslaved. After the American Civil War, she moved to Richmond with her family and enrolled in public school, where she showed remarkable intelligence. She is listed in the first graduating class of the Richmond Colored Normal School. As Richmond’s first colored teacher, she taught at Navy Hill School until she married in 1878. She returned in 1884, and taught at Baker School for 39 years.

(LOC) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 67

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 67

Although Bowser did not seek an active role in public affairs, in August 1895 she founded and became the first president of the Richmond Woman’s League. By July 1896 she had led the league in raising $690 to pay the legal bills of three black Lunenburg County women who were appealing murder convictions, two of them death sentences.

(Virginia Memory) — Virginia Christian, convicted of the murder of Ida V. Belote — 3 June 1912

(Virginia Memory) — Virginia Christian, convicted of the murder of Ida V. Belote — 3 June 1912

In 1912, working with Mary Church Terrell and Maggie Walker, Bowser attempted to aid a young girl sentenced to be electrocuted for murder. Their combined efforts included a direct appeal to the governor of Virginia to reopen the case and commute the sentence. Despite the backing of the National Association of Colored Women, the girl was executed. Bowser and the association also publicly opposed lynching and racial segregation and supported universal woman suffrage.

Bowser became involved in other social causes and supported the founding and funding of organizations for treatment of tuberculosis, improved medical facilities, and medical insurance. As a result of an alliance she forged, the Federated Insurance League joined with the Woman’s League to support a Richmond branch of the Virginia Colored Anti-Tuberculosis League.

(Encyclopedia Virginia) — motto of the Negro Organization Society

(Encyclopedia Virginia) — motto of the Negro Organization Society

The presidency of the association opened the door for Bowser to play major roles in other African American organizations, including the Hampton Negro Conferences and their successor, the Negro Organization Society. She chaired the conferences’ Committee on Domestic Science from 1899 to 1902. At the July 1897 conference Bowser made one of her most notable speeches, “Some of Our Needs,” and appealed to the conference to form girls’ meetings to teach ladylike qualities and to sponsor mothers’ clubs to advise young mothers on childrearing.

(Wikipedia) — Janie Porter Barrett

(Wikipedia) — Janie Porter Barrett

In response to her appeal, additional girls’ and mothers’ meetings were organized in scores of Virginia communities. Bowser also called for reforms in education, increased teacher salaries, and improved housing and education for wayward children. She joined with such influential black Virginians as Janie Porter Barrett and Maggie Lena Mitchell Walker to form the Woman’s Department of the Negro Reformatory Association of Virginia, which raised money for the development of the Industrial Home School for Colored Girls and the Virginia Manual Labor School for Colored Boys, both in Hanover County.

(Find A Grave) — Rosa Bowser

(Find A Grave) — Rosa Bowser

Her efforts on behalf of educators helped create Virginia’s first professional African American teacher’s association, and she later served as its president. The first branch of the Richmond public library to be opened for African Americans was named for Bowser in 1925. [WOD]

An enviable record of accomplishment. Richmond could use a big bronze statue of her too.

(Rosa Bowser House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [WOD] Women of distinction: remarkable in works and invincible in character. Scruggs, L. A. 1893.

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Shootings on July 3rd and Early July 4th Result in a Death and Six Injuries

Two separate unrelated incidents occurred. One at City Dogs in the Fan and another near Cyber Café on Broad Street.

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West Main Street Death Investigation

Sunday, July 3, at approximately 10:26 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of random gunfire. RPD officers responded and located an adult male with an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Anyone with information about this death investigation is asked to contact

Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at

(804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

This RVA/Reddit thread has some unconfirmed details and first-hand reports on the City Dogs shooting.

Update July 5th:

Arrest Made, Victim Identified in West Main Street Homicide and Aggravated Assaults

The Richmond Police Department has charged the suspect in yesterday’s shootings on West Main Street. Derrick Adjei, 24, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody by Virginia State Police last night at approximately 11:01 p.m. after the vehicle Adjei had been operating was involved in a single vehicle collision on northbound I-95.

RPD detectives, investigating the West Main Street shooting, have charged Adjei with malicious wounding. Other charges are pending. A booking photo of Adjei is not yet available.

Detectives have identified the victim of the shooting as Kyle Stoner, 36, of Richmond. Sunday at approximately 10:28 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of a shooting. RPD officers responded and located an adult male, Stoner, on a patio of a business, down and unresponsive suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

An adult female and an adult male were also injured during the incident and have received treatment for injuries that were not considered life threatening.

Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

West Broad Street Shooting

At approximately 3:39 a.m., Richmond Police officers responded to the report of random gunfire in the 00 block of West Broad Street. Six people were reported shot near the Cyber Café, an after-hours club including four adult males and two adult females.

Of the six who sustained gunshot wounds, two are considered life-threatening and four non-life threatening. One man was transported by ambulance, others were self-transported to the hospital for treatment.

There is no public threat at this time.

Anyone with information about this shooting investigation is asked to call Detective Reyes at (804) 646-3874 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

 

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LaDiff Now Open on Southside

Sit down, we’ve got furniture news.

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LaDiff the hip furniture store left Shockoe Bottom for the sweet, sweet Southside. Now after 8 months their new location is open. They’re calling it an extremely soft opening so walls are still getting painted, product being placed, and outdoor furniture won’t be available until next spring.

You can get all the details on their website.

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Attention River Lovers Huguenot Flatwater Work Day on Saturday

The universal access ramp is done at Huguenot Flatwater but there is still some finishing touches that need to be made to the are.

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Message from James River Outdoor Coalition

Needs plans for your Saturday? Come help out your local park system at the JROC project! We need LOTS of hands to prep the grounds at Huguenot Flatwater for the opening of the new universal access ramp!

We’ll be digging out and painting parking blocks, clearing debris, and opening up the area around the ramp. There’s more work to be done at the Western Overlook if we have enough help.
Meet at 9:00AM this Sat. 6/18 at Huguenot Flatwater in the James River Park System.

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