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RVA Legends — D. A. Ainslie’s Carriage Works

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

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[RVCJ93] — D. A. Ainslie’s Carriage Works

8-12 South Tenth Street
912 East Cary Street
Built, after 1865
Demolished, before 1912

A day job for a silver fox.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 16

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 16

David A. Ainslie, 8 to 12 South Tenth street, is the largest manufacturer of fine carriages and wagons south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers.

He is successor to his father, George A. Ainslie, who was president of the Chamber of Commerce for several terms here, and was, in his lifetime, one of the most prominent and progressive business men of the city.

(Library of Congress) — Beers Illustrated Atlas of the Cities of Richmond & Manchester, 1877 — Plate K — showing ownership by G. A. Ainslie

(Library of Congress) — Beers Illustrated Atlas of the Cities of Richmond & Manchester, 1877 — Plate K — showing ownership by G. A. Ainslie

The business of this house was established by Mr. George A. Ainslie and partners in 1855. The war dissolved that connection, and after it Mr. Ainslie resumed on his own account. He was succeeded by a partnership of his sons, in which he was interested, in 1879, and Mr. David A. Ainslie succeeded that partnership about two years ago. [RVCJ93]

[MCR] — shaded areas showing Evacuation Fire destruction & location of G. A. Ainslie’s carriage works

[MCR] — shaded areas showing Evacuation Fire destruction & location of G. A. Ainslie’s carriage works

Of course, if G. A. Ainslie owned the property depicted above prior to the war, then whatever stood at that location was destroyed by the pitiless Evacuation Fire that gutted much of the downtown on April 1865.

What fun it must have been to be a Confederate fleeing the city — start a blaze and skedaddle. Hoo-wee!

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Dispatch advertisement — Sunday, April 17, 1898

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Dispatch advertisement — Sunday, April 17, 1898

This factory covers an “L” of ground fronting 100 feet on Tenth street and bending through to Cary. It is four stories high, and has a modern equipment of machinery and appliances to facilitate manufacture. It provides employment to 50 or 60 hands, and its product is valued at $225,000 to $250,000 a year, besides which the house, acting as sales agent, disposes of considerable work made in the North and West.

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Dispatch advertisement — Sunday, June 13, 1897

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Dispatch advertisement — Sunday, June 13, 1897

Its specialty is, however, work of its own manufacture, particularly apparatus for fire departments. A hose reel was exhibited by it at the New Orleans World’s Exposition which secured first prize, and it will show work of the same sort at the coming Chicago World’s Fair. It is the only manufacturer of work of this sort in the South.

June 2019 — looking towards 8-12 South Tenth Street

June 2019 — looking towards 8-12 South Tenth Street

A vast amount of light ordered work is made by it for local patrons and for the trade in this and the adjacent States. This work is constructed of the very finest material and has the highest reputation hereabouts for style and finish, and durability also as well.

Mr. Ainslie is himself a member of the Chamber, and an active participant in all its movements to forward Richmond and develop its field. [RVCJ93]

June 2019 — looking towards 912 East Cary Street

June 2019 — looking towards 912 East Cary Street

He was also, at the time of the publication of the 1893 edition of Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James, single. That would change 14 years later in 1907 when at the age of 52 he married Inez Withers Montague, the 50-year-old widow of Percy Montague who had died in 1902. Unfortunately, the state of their marital bliss was not long-lived, and Inez died in April 1915.

There is no record that records David’s mental state in the aftermath of her death, but by the 1930s the native Richmonder had relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. (Ancestry)

(Emporis) — looking towards United Virginia Bank Insurance Headquarters (center)

(Emporis) — looking towards United Virginia Bank Insurance Headquarters (center)

One factor in his change of venue may have been the fate of former place of business. In 1912, the entire area where his “L” shaped carriage works were located was acquired to make way for another of Richmond’s early skyscrapers. Ironically, the United Virginia Bank Insurance Headquarters building that replaced it was itself replaced by the Crestar (now SunTrust) Plaza in 1982.

(D. A. Ainslie’s Carriage Works is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [MCR] Map of the City of Richmond, Virginia, 1861-65. Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee. 1961. Library of Virginia.
  • [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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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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