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Must-See RVA! — Cameron & Cameron

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

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[RVCJ93] — showing Cameron & Cameron’s Tobacco Factory

AKA, Kinney Tobacco Co., Cameron Kinney
2500 East Cary Street
Built, 1884

A family dedicated to making book on the weed.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 13 — showing the building’s original incarnation as the Kinney Tobacco Co., with Alex Cameron & Co Tobacco Factory right across the street

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 13 — showing the building’s original incarnation as the Kinney Tobacco Co., with Alex Cameron & Co Tobacco Factory right across the street

The firm of Alexander Cameron & Co. operates a plug tobacco factory here in Richmond; Cameron & Cameron are manufacturers of cigarettes, cheroots, smoking tobacco, long cut and cut plug at Richmond also. William Cameron & Bro. make plug, twist and navy tobaccos at Petersburg. The principals in Alexander Cameron & Co., are Alexander Cameron, of Richmond, and George Cameron, of Petersburg, and they are proprietors also of the Petersburg works. Alexander Cameron, Jr., is associated with them in their Australian trade, and is manager of all their affairs in the Antipodes.

(Find A Grave) — Alexander Cameron

(Find A Grave) — Alexander Cameron

Alexander Cameron & Co. have been established since 1865. Cameron & Cameron are successors to a business founded in the same year, and William Cameron & Bro. dates from 1856. The head of the house here and general manager of its affairs is Mr. Alexander Cameron. He personally directs the business, with the assistance of experienced heads of departments. He is considered one of the most enterprising, broad-minded and liberal residents of Richmond. Pie is accredited with a very large part in that industrial restoration which has come over the South, and especially this city, since the war.

(Antique Advertising Expert) — Cameron & Cameron tobacco tin

(Antique Advertising Expert) — Cameron & Cameron tobacco tin

They make a specialty of high-grade goods, and have for their principal customers the best foreign and home trade.

They have, indeed, a world-wide business. Besides their vast Australian business, they have trade in India, South Africa and very largely, also, in all the British Isles, provinces and dependencies.

May 2019 — looking toward 2500 East Cary Street, western prominence

May 2019 — looking toward 2500 East Cary Street, western prominence

The plug tobacco factory of Alexander Cameron & Co. is situated at 2400 to 2422 Cary street, and 16 Twenty-fourth street. Their premises there comprise a brick factory on Cary street, 44 by 160 feet, and five stories high, and a warehouse and stemmery on Twenty-fourth street, 44 by 140 feet, and also five stories. The factory is fitted up with the most improved machinery, driven by a Green steam engine of 100 horsepower, with four boilers of 200 horse-power capacity, for drying purposes. From 200 to 300 hands are constantly employed in it, and it has a capacity for 1,500,000 pounds of manufactured tobacco yearly.

May 2019

May 2019

The stemmery, also a massive brick structure, has a capacity for an equal amount of strips and leaf. The annual consumption of coal in the entire establishment is about 2,000 tons.

All styles of plug, twist and navy are produced from dark and bright leaf ; and from the stemmery are shipped dark and bright strips. The leading brands made in this factory are the “Venus,” “Queen of the Seas,” “St. Andrews,” “Our Game,” “Canary,” “Cinderella,” “Flower of All Nations,” “Cable,” “All the Rage,” “Double Pet,” “Signet,” “Havelock,” “Galatea,” “Apollo,” “Pioneer’s Delight,” “Gloria,” and Florinda.“

(iCollector) — a tin of Cameron & Cameron’s English Bird’s Eye

(iCollector) — a tin of Cameron & Cameron’s English Bird’s Eye

The cigarette, cheroot and smoking tobacco factory of Cameron & Cameron is, likewise, a prodigious works, comprehensively equipped, and is included in the block just described. They employ 250 hands here, and have a working capacity for a large output of cigarettes and cheroots, and of about 10,000 pounds of smoking tobacco a day. This factory is famous for its “Gold Medal,” “Golden Gate,” “Richmond Club,” “Favorite,” and “Purity” paper cigarettes; “Havanettes,” “Three and Five Beauties,” “Purity,” “Circle Club” “Cuban Sixes,” and “Favorite” cheroots; “Cuban Dainties,” “Little Darlings,” “Little Giants,” “Centennial Pets,” “Cameron’s Entire,” and “Old Hero” all tobacco cigarettes ; and their celebrated smoking mixtures, “Catac,” “Golden Square,” “Famosa,” “Richmond Club,” “Richmond Star,” “English Birdseye,” besides “Canuck,” “Purity,” “Raleigh,” “Virginia Bell,” “Favorite,” and other brands of tobacco, put up in all styles and shapes, which are celebrated, not only in this country, but in all parts of the world.

[RVCJ93] — William Cameron and Company’s Petersburgh Factory

[RVCJ93] — William Cameron and Company’s Petersburgh Factory

William Cameron & Brother have their Petersburg factory at Perry and Brown streets, in that city. It is a handsome, lofty and imposing structure, of modern architectural design, which a city many times Petersburg’s size might well be proud to have. It occupies the site of the firm’s original factory, which was burned to the ground in 1878. It is four stories high, with an ornamental cupola, and has a front on Brown street of 180 feet, by a depth on Perry street of 240 feet. The offices, warehouse, engine-house and drying-rooms occupy separate buildings, which, together, form a spacious quadrangle, affording ample room for the special work of each department.

(Google Maps) — William Cameron and Company’s Petersburgh Factory today

(Google Maps) — William Cameron and Company’s Petersburgh Factory today

But of still higher importance than even substantial and capacious buildings, is the machinery with which the various styles of plug, twist and navy tobacco are prepared, and in this respect Cameron’s factory is splendidly equipped. This machinery was manufactured from designs specially prepared for this factory, and is run with three boilers of 250 horse-power capacity and a 100 horse-power engine, and its own electric light plant.

This factory alone employs over 600 hands, which means, in other words, that it feeds nearly 3,000 mouths, and has a capacity of over 2,500,000 pounds a year. Its leading brands, the “Raven,” “Havelock,” “Two Seas,” “Orion,” “Canary,” “Our Chief,” “Peach and Honey,” “Mazeppa,” and “Pluck,” are famous wherever the virtues of superior aromatic “Cavendish” and “Twist” are appreciated.

May 2019 — 2500 East Cary street, eastern prominence

May 2019 — 2500 East Cary street, eastern prominence

For many years past the management of this extensive and increasing business has received the personal attention of Mr. George Cameron, whose business ability and success have extended the firm’s operations year by year.

The appointments and facilities of the Australian factories of the Camerons are quite equal in every respect to those they maintain in this country. It is not so long since those at Sydney and Melbourne were enlarged and improved at a cost of over £20,000 each. At both of these Australian factories Messrs. Cameron & Bro. have also found it necessary to establish their own bonded warehouse to facilitate the trade there, and these warehouses are under the charge of officials detailed for that special duty by the Colonial Government.

(eBay) — a tin of Cameron & Cameron’s Richmond Club Mixture

(eBay) — a tin of Cameron & Cameron’s Richmond Club Mixture

The illustrations accompanying this matter show the external appearance of the Richmond and Petersburg factories of this house, and are somewhat an indication also of the scope of its remarkable business.

Mr. Alexander Cameron is an active participant, also, in the good work of the Chamber of Commerce.

May 2019 — show corbeling around the parapet & windows

May 2019 — show corbeling around the parapet & windows

Cameron & Cameron may be just an old factory, but despite the irritating Insidious Tree-Architecture Conspiracy making things difficult, it demonstrates how much craftsmanship went into the construction of such places. The highly detailed brick corbeling is completely unnecessary for an industrial building, but the builder did it anyway — an applaudable tip of the cap towards aesthetics.

(Cameron & Cameron is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.

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Downtown

Must-See RVA! — Cokesbury Building

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

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April 2020
  • 415 East Grace Street
  • Built, 1921
  • Architects, Carneal & Johnston

Once there was this trendy little bookstore in the heart of the downtown shopping district.

[ADR] — Cokesbury Building in 1981

[ADR] — Cokesbury Building in 1981

This building was built for the Methodist Publishing House and designed by Garnett & Johnston. Its design clearly is related to the Mosby Store at the corner of Jefferson and Broad Streets, by Starrett & Van Vleck.

April 2020 — showing projecting cornice

April 2020 — showing projecting cornice

That design was, in turn, related to McKim, Mead & White’s Gorham Building in New York, a modernized version of an Italianate palazzo with an arcade at the base of the building and a heavy projecting cornice at the roof.

April 2020

April 2020

This design was felt to be a particularly successful blending of traditional and modern features, most appropriate for a modern shop.

April 2020

April 2020

The Cokesbury Building is designed carefully and well detailed. The first floor arcade was glazed fully, but is now closed partially.

April 2020

April 2020

The interior vaulted ceilings have been removed, but the building is otherwise well preserved. The reason for the popularity of this building type is seen easily. It is simple, dignified and impressive. [ADR]

(Richmond Times Dispatch) — Cokesbury Building in 1952

(Richmond Times-Dispatch) — Cokesbury Building in 1952

The Cokesbury Building, with the Cokesbury Bookstore on the first floor, was an outgrowth of the Methodist Episcopal Book Concern. Created in 1789, this organization was established to religious materials for the Methodist church. It would eventually expand to include books and religious supplies and rebranded as the Cokesbury Press in 1925. By 2012, there would be 57 Cokesbury Book Stores nationwide, one of which used to be on Grace Street.

April 2020

April 2020

But in that same year, Cokesbury announced the closure of their brick-and-mortar stores, and today they’re online only. The Grace Street location had long been abandoned by that point, having relocated to Tuckernuck Square shopping center in 1992. A loss, really. They were more than just religious books and often had unusual or hard to find titles, back in the days before Amazon.

Today, it’s the Cokesbury Building Apartments.

(Cokesbury Building is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [ADR] Architecture in Downtown Richmond. Robert Winthrop. 1982.

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Suspects Sought in Credit Card Fraud

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives need the public’s help to identify the individuals in the attached photo, who are suspected of using a stolen credit to make fraudulent purchases last week.

On Monday, March 30, the victim was notified that their card had been used at the Farm Fresh located in the 2300 block of East Main Street. Surveillance footage shows two females buying food and cigarettes worth over $400 with the victim’s card. They were last seen leaving the store in a silver convertible with a black top. A photo of the vehicle is attached.

Detectives determined the card was also used at the McDonald’s located in the 1800 block of East Broad Street.

Anyone with information about the identity of these suspects is asked to call First Precinct Detective J. Mitchell at (804) 646-0569 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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Billy Jack’s Shack Closing for Good

Unfortunately, I’m sure this won’t be the last time we’ll be writing about a restaurant not being able to re-open.

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Billy Jack’s Shack the local spin-off of the Westend’s Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint at 5810 Grove Ave. will not survive the economic downturn of COVID-19. According to this Richmond BizSense.com article on the closure, Jack Brown’s is doing alright for now considering the situation.

Owners Jason Owenby, Mike Sabin, and Aaron Ludwig made the announcement on Billy Jack’s Shack Facebook.

It is with heavy hearts that we make the unfortunate announcement that Billy Jack’s RVA will be closing down permanently. While our time here was brief, the relationships and memories we’ve made are eternal. We appreciate everything that y’all have done for us, especially those of you in the Bone Club. These are difficult times for everyone involved and if you would like to support some of our staff who are now facing employment uncertainty, please feel free to donate at the link below. We can not properly express how much this decision pains us and how bad we are going to miss everyone. Please message with any further questions and stay tuned to our Instagram page for some trips down memory lane

https://www.billyjacksshack.com/tip-yo-server/

 

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