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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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Maymont Garden Glow Cancelled Tonight Due to Weather

Mother Nature is bringing the rain and the wind today so the folks at Maymont want to keep everyone safe and dry.

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Due to the forecast for severe weather during Garden Glow at Maymont tonight, we have decided to cancel the event for 10/29. We hope that you can join us on a different night through Nov. 8. If you have already purchased tickets, please check your email. bit.ly/30oc6ci

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Crime

Four charged for throwing objects at restaurant patrons, rocks at police car, and assaulting officer Tuesday night

On Tuesday night a group of individuals walked through Richmond, eventually damaging vehicles and buildings in several areas in the city and causing unrest. Four were arrested.

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On Tuesday night a group of individuals walked through Richmond, eventually damaging vehicles and buildings in several areas in the city and causing unrest. Four were arrested.

After leaving Monroe Park, the group headed west along West Main Street. At approximately 9:54 p.m., individuals in the group were observed throwing objects at patrons at a restaurant. Soon after, officers observed an individual throw a large stone and damage an RPD K-9 vehicle. A photo of the stone that was recovered is attached. Later, that same individual was seen throwing an object against a business. As officers moved to arrest this individual, a group member assaulted an officer.

An unlawful assembly was not declared and no chemical agents were deployed.

The Department consulted with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney on possible charges and charged four individuals. Their photos are attached.

Paxton Chapman was charged with obstruction of justice, carrying a concealed weapon, and pedestrian in the roadway.

Saraswati Rowe was charged with obstructing free passage.

Harrison Sellers was charged with inciting a riot and throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle.

Michael Toney was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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Downtown

Become a Richmond tourism ambassador from the comfort of your own home

The free I Am Tourism workshops help participants gain a visitor’s perspective of the region and an understanding of tourism offerings.

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Richmonders have a new way to learn about the region – from home.

Richmond Region Tourism is launching a virtual version of its popular I Am Tourism ambassador workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 9-11 a.m., with a second session on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 9-11 a.m. New classes will be held monthly.

The free I Am Tourism workshops help participants gain a visitor’s perspective of the region and an understanding of tourism products and offerings.

The Oct. 28 session includes information about the economic impact of tourism and an overview of the attractions, events and activities in the Richmond region. A virtual tour led by Bill Martin, The Valentine executive director, will guide the class on a custom visit to some of his favorite places.

“The I Am Tourism program is an exciting opportunity for everyone in our community to become knowledgeable and influential representatives of the region,” said Jack Berry, Richmond Region Tourism CEO and president.

The primary reason people travel to the Richmond Region is to visit friends and family. National travel data points to this trend continuing as people continue with more car-based trips during the pandemic. The I Am Tourism classes provided an opportunity for residents to become knowledgeable ambassadors when guests visit.

“Richmond’s hospitality industry hasn’t escaped the devastating financial impact of the pandemic, but we’re seeing signs of growth and progress. The new virtual sessions are an opportunity for the entire community to help the tourism industry and the region’s economic rebound,” Berry said.

Participants must register for the Oct. 28 class by Oct. 27 at noon.

Since the I Am Tourism program launched in 2015, more than 2,600 Ambassadors have gone through the program. Richmond Region Tourism also creates custom classes for employee engagement activities for local businesses.

For more information on upcoming I Am Tourism ambassador trainings and to register, visit visitrichmondva.com.

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