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RVA Legends — Randolph Paper Box Company

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

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[RVCJ93] — Works of the Randolph Paper-Box Company

1312-1318 Franklin Street
Built, after 1877
Destroyed (fire), circa 1905

A box man who kept busy.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 4

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 4

The Randolph Paper Box Company, of Richmond, operates one of the largest manufacturing concerns of the city, and, in all probability, one of the largest works of the kind in the United States. This company’s factory is located at 1312 to 1318 Franklin street. It covers there an area of 100,000 square feet, and its dimensions and facilities generally are indicated by the fact that 500 hands find employment in it, and that it produces 60,000,000 boxes of all kinds a year.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 8

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 8

It has $200,000 capital invested in its premises and their equipment, and in the stock, etc., necessary to carry on the business. It has five men on the road, and sells everywhere in the United States, and, besides, has many customers in Mexico and South America, to whom sales are made by it through brokers resident in those parts. It has its own printing establishment to prepare labels, .etc. All its operatives are white, and they are treated with a degree of consideration which was especially remarked by Joaquin Miller (the famous literateur), in his account of the city written some years ago.

(Find A Grave) — Norman Vincent Randolph

(Find A Grave) — Norman Vincent Randolph

This prodigious business is the growth of an establishment made scarcely thirteen years ago by N. V. Randolph, with but two men and four girls, and not a dozen customers, and it is to the management of Mr. Randolph, who has been at the head and front of the house from the start, that its remarkable expansion is entirely due. He has, indeed, displayed great business ability. He has given his establishment reputation, not merely for the quantity but for the quality of its work. He has exhibited its produce at State fairs, and even at a Melbourne, Australia, Exposition some years ago.

[CDRVA] — printers seal inside Chataigne’s 1881 Directory of Richmond

[CDRVA] — printers seal inside Chataigne’s 1881 Directory of Richmond

He has established agencies in all the larger cities, and has earned a name in the business community here as one of its most enterprising spirits. He is identified with several of the principal business concerns of the city besides this, and with its charities also; he is president of the Virginia State Insurance Company: president of the Confederate Soldiers’ Home; a director of the Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of its committee on Business Enterprises. [RVCJ93]

June 2019 — looking toward 1312-1318 Franklin Street, now part of the Commonwealth’s downtown office complex

June 2019 — looking toward 1312-1318 Franklin Street, now part of the Commonwealth’s downtown office complex

Indeed, Randolph kept busy. In addition to his duties as President of the Randolph Paper Box Company of Richmond and Chicago, he also logged executive time at Virginia State Insurance Company, the German-American Banking and Building Company of Richmond, the Warwick Park Transportation Company, and the Virginia and North Carolina Wheel Company. (Find A Grave)

His work schedule may have been what contributed to his early death at age 56.

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Times illustration of Florence Gretter — Sunday, February 11, 1900

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Times illustration of Florence Gretter — Sunday, February 11, 1900

However, he was remembered fondly. On his death in 1903, local artist Florence Gretter painted a portrait miniature of Randolph replete with his Confederate uniform. It was sufficiently popular that she was still producing miniatures of him 26 years later.

Alas, the box factory on Franklin did not fare so well, since Sanborn shows it reduced to ruins in its 1905 edition of maps.

(Randolph Paper Box Company is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [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.

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James River Park System Update from Bryce Wilk, Superintendent

Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 James River Park has had visitors. The same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. The current staff devoted to James River Park is 5.

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The James River Park is getting heavy use but that’s not all that’s going on in the park. Here’s what Bryce Wilk, Superintendent has to say.

  • The JRPS is seeing visitors at a higher rate than any other year ever! Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 visitors. Same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. This despite all the restrictions in place during the stay at home orders due to Covid 19 this past spring and early summer. Close to a quarter million visitors in the month of June alone.
  • JRPS staff and local paddling groups installed new Dam Hazard Signs and Buoys between Huguenot Flatwater and Z-Dam to better warn people of the dangers of Z-Dam and the river.
  • JRPS hired parking attendants to ticket all illegally parked vehicles at Pony Pasture Rapids Park on weekends and holidays.
  • During the closure of public facilities, JRPS took the opportunity to upgrade the bathroom at Pony Pasture with new flooring and paint.
  • JRPS added parking lines in the parking lot to help guide and organize vehicle parking.
  • Currently we only have 5 full time staff members dedicated solely to the James River Park System, James River Park System relies on volunteers to keep this park beautiful.
  • JRPS is providing volunteer opportunities for river clean ups at Pony Pasture specifically through https://www.handsonrva.org/.
  • If people are interested in volunteering on their own or have any questions, Volunteer Coordinator, Matthew Mason can provide resources and equipment. His email is [email protected]
  • Please visit https://jamesriverpark.org/ and http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/ for the latest updates and safety information about the James River Park System and Richmond’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities.

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Crime

Mayor Stoney names members of “Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety”

“There is a lot of work ahead of us, but this group’s diversity of expertise and lived experiences is a key asset on our path forward,” said the mayor. “I am thrilled to have this team help our city heal.”

RVAHub Staff

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Today Mayor Levar Stoney announced the members of the Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety and outlined his primary requests of the diverse group of professionals. The majority of task force members stood with the mayor for the announcement.

“There is a lot of work ahead of us, but this group’s diversity of expertise and lived experiences is a key asset on our path forward,” said the mayor. “I am thrilled to have this team help our city heal.”

The members of the task force bring an array of perspectives from activist, legal, academic, law enforcement, emergency services, artistic, healthcare, and other fields. At the close of a 45-day period, the task force will bring the mayor a set of actionable steps forward to build a safer city for all.

“After additional conversations and review of actions taken in other cities, I do not believe we can wait to begin acting on reform recommendations,” said Mayor Stoney. “I have asked this task force to report back with initial recommendations within 45 days of their first meeting.”

The mayor established three foundational requests of the task force: reviewing the police department’s use of force policies, exploring an approach to public safety that uses a human services lens, and prioritizing community healing and engagement.

“We need a new process for noncriminal and nonviolent calls for service, and that will be a top priority for this task force,” noted the mayor. “We must center compassion instead of consequences.”

Regarding community healing and engagement, the mayor said that the task force will allow the city to explore methods of engagement that will enable meaningful change, using his support for the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus’ legislative package as an example.

“Last month I expressed my support for the VBLC’s package for the summer session,” said Mayor Stoney. “This task force can determine where the city can explore complementary legislation and where we need to focus community advocacy to make statewide change a reality.”

Members of the Task Force

Carol Adams, Richmond Police Department
Ram Bhagat,
 Manager of School Culture and Climate Strategy for RPS

Glenwood Burley, retired RPD officer

Keisha Cummings, community engagement specialist, founder of 2LOVE LLC, member of the Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project and the Richmond Peace Team

Torey Edmonds, Community Outreach Coordinator at VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development

Professor Daryl Fraser, VCU School of Social Work professor and licensed clinical social worker

Triston Harris, Black Lives Matters organizer and organizer of the 5,000 Man March Against Racism

Birdie Hairston Jamison, former district court judge for the 13th Judicial District in Virginia

Councilman Mike Jones

Shanel Lewis, Youth Violence Prevention Specialist at the Richmond City Health District

Brandon Lovee, Richmond artist and advocate, member of the Richmond Peace Team

Colette McEachin, Richmond Commonwealth Attorney

Reverend Dontae McCutchen, Love Cathedral Community Church

Dr. Lisa Moon, Associate Provost at VCU and former Director of the Center for the Study of the Urban Child

Sergeant Brad Nixon, RPD

Tracy Paner, Public Defender for the City of Richmond

Bill Pantele, Richmond attorney and former City Council Member

Professor William Pelfrey, VCU professor with expertise in emergency preparedness and policing

Councilwoman Ellen Robertson

Rodney Robinson, National Teacher of the Year and teacher at the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center

Patrice Shelton, Community Health Worker in Hillside Court and director of the Hillside Court Partnership

Lashawnda Singleton, President of the Richmond Association of Black Social Workers

Sheba Williams, Executive Director of NoLef Turns

Courtney Winston, Richmond trial attorney

The Mayor’s Office is specifically working with the Office of Community Wealth Building’s Community Ambassadors to identify additional community members, including youth, to be part of the task force’s important work and to assist with community engagement.

The task force is committed to a transparent process and will make meeting minutes available to the public.

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Community

Richmond Then and Now: 114 E. Broad Street

A then and now snapshot of Richmond.

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Original Image from Souvenir views: Negro enterprises & residences, Richmond, Va.
Created / Published[Richmond, D. A. Ferguson, 1907]

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