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Must-See RVA! — Peter Stumpf Brewing Company

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

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September 2019 — 1202 West Clay Street looking east

AKA, Home Brewing Company, Inc.
1201-1211 West Clay Street (Brewery)
1125 West Clay Street (Office)
Built, 1891
September 2019 — 1202 West Clay Street looking east

A brewer that began at Anheuser-Busch.

[RVCJ93] — Peter Stumpf’s Brewing Company Establishment — showing the Office at lower left & the Brewery at upper right

[RVCJ93] — Peter Stumpf’s Brewing Company Establishment — showing the Office at lower left & the Brewery at upper right

The Peter Stumpf Brewing Company, successors to the Richmond Brewing Company since July 1, 1892, owns and operates the new “Home” Brewery, situated at the corner of Harrison and Clay streets.

September 2019

September 2019

This brewery has an authorized capital stock of $200,000. Its buildings cost, with their complement of machinery, $150,000. Its premises cover a square and a half, with buildings for its brew house, malt house, bottling department, office building, stables, cooperage and cold-storage departments.

September 2019

September 2019

It is equipped with the latest machinery known to the business, including a refrigerating apparatus of the C. F. Ott patent. Its malt house has a capacity of 5,000 bushels.

(Find A Grave) — Peter Stumpf

(Find A Grave) — Peter Stumpf

The directors of this company are: Peter Stumpf, president; John D. Doyle, vice-president; Joseph Stumpf, secretary and treasurer; Ernest Meyer and George C. Guvernator.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 57 — showing the combined complex at the height of its business

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 57 — showing the combined complex at the height of its business

Messrs. Meyer, Doyle and Guvernator established the business here. These gentlemen were induced to venture upon this enterprise by reason of the demand for beer of home manufacture. Mr. Peter Stumpf and Joseph Stumpf, his brother, are both experienced in the business.

[IOR] — Anheuser-Busch Brewing Assn, St. Louis Mo, USA

[IOR] — Anheuser-Busch Brewing Assn, St. Louis Mo, USA

Before this venture of theirs they represented the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association here for a number of years. Mr. Guvernator was formerly in the furniture business. He is proprietor of a hotel at Atlantic City. Mr. Doyle is also a hotel keeper of Atlantic City. Mr. Meyer is an experienced German brewmaster, long engaged in the business in the city of Philadelphia.

Although so recently established, this company has already developed a trade in the city and State up to its full capacity and production. Its leading brands, “Home Beer” and “Weiner Export,” are general favorites and are equal in strength and purity to any in the market. [RVCJ93]

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 1 — showing Stumpf’s beer depot at the intersection of Union & Grace Streets

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 1 — showing Stumpf’s beer depot at the intersection of Union & Grace Streets

Stumpf was born in Offenbach, Germany and emigrated to New York in 1869 at the age of 18. He quickly broke into the brewing trade, and by 1886 he had relocated to Richmond, where he made suds for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.

September 2019 — 1201 West Clay Street looking west

September 2019 — 1201 West Clay Street looking west

By 1892 he broke out on his own and moved his operation to West Clay Street, where he was successful enough that he developed franchises in Petersburg, Newport News, and Phoebus. He also owned or controlled a number of saloons here in Richmond which were “tied” bars, establishments that sold only the parent company’s product.

September 2019 — finial detail at 1201 West Clay Street

September 2019 — finial detail at 1201 West Clay Street

He retired from the business in 1897 at the unusually young age of 46, a year after marrying his wife, Hermine Morganstern. Perhaps it was for health reasons or maybe he was simply wealthy enough that he could afford not working. Either way, it didn’t last, and he died in 1903 at the age of 52. (Find A Grave)

(Peter Stumpf Brewing Company is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [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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Wayback RVA — View in Mount Calvary Cemetery

A Then & Now photo essay of Richmond places from around the area.

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View in Mount Calvary Cemetery,
Richmond, Va.

Mount Calvary’s central layout takes the form of a cross, of which the base, shown in the postcard, is the Pizzini family plot.

Captain Andrew Pizzini was in the VMI Class of 1865 and participated in the Battle of New Market. After the war, he was president of Richmond’s Electrical Street Railways Light and Power Companies and was a leading proponent of the (then) New City Hall.

The Father Time statue that watches over Captain Pizzini has seen better days and seems to have lost the crutch on which he leaned.


(View in Mount Calvary Cemetery is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


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RVA Legends — Architectural Iron Works

A look into the history of Richmond places that are no longer part of our landscape.

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[IOR] — looking toward the northwest corner of Eleventh & Cary Streets
  • 1008-1012 East Cary Street

One of the “constellation of firms” associated with iron man Asa Snyder. [CAW]

(Coal Chutes of Richmond) — showing manufacture by Asa Snyder & Co.

(Coal Chutes of Richmond) — showing manufacture by Asa Snyder & Co.

Asa Snyder & Co. Proprietors. Thirty-five years ago this establishment was founded by the late Asa Snyder in a very moderate way, but it gave genuine evidence of enterprise from the start, and in a few years it became a noted landmark of business industry. War, fire, and financial strife, have battered at its doors, but it still stands a monument to the enterprise of its founder.

[AAA] — advertisement for Snyder & Irby’s architectural ironworks

[AAA] — advertisement for Snyder & Irby’s architectural ironworks

Its contributions to the trade reflect the greatest credit on the mechanical skill of those employed in its several constructive departments. They find a large and steady demand from Virginia and West Virginia, North and South Carolina, for their beautiful and reliable goods of architectural designs. They employ sixty hands, and have a cupola capacity for making five tons of castings per hour.

(Glassian) — a Hyatt Patent Area Light

(Glassian) — a Hyatt Patent Area Light

Their specialties are all kinds of galvanized, cast and wrought iron used in building, which embraces vault doors, elevators,. fence and balcony railings, verandas, skylights, cornices, window hoods, steeples, &c. They are also manufacturers of Hayes’ Patent Skylight, Hyatt’s Patent Area Light, for which they control Virginia.

(Chronicling America) — advertisement for Asa Snyder & Co. — The Jewish South — Friday January 13, 1899

(Chronicling America) — advertisement for Asa Snyder & Co. — The Jewish South — Friday January 13, 1899

Messrs. Asa K. Snyder and Benj. J. Atkins comprise the present firm of Asa Snyder & Co. They were both members of the firm at the time of the death of Mr. Asa Snyder, in 1884, and have continued under the same firm name.

(Virginia Memory) — letterhead for Architectural Iron Works, Asa Snyder & Co.

(Virginia Memory) — letterhead for Architectural Iron Works, Asa Snyder & Co.

Mr. Asa K. Snyder was born and raised here, and was brought up in the iron trade. He is also in the pig iron and foundry supply brokerage business.

Mr. Atkins resides in Manchester. He has been connected with this house for twenty years, and has been a partner in the concern since 1877. [IOR]

[IOR] — Tanner and Delaney Engine Company which became Richmond Locomotive & Machine Works after a hostile takeover in 1887

[IOR] — Tanner and Delaney Engine Company which became Richmond Locomotive & Machine Works after a hostile takeover in 1887

Snyder may have been well-known, but he was not the biggest game in town.

Mention has been made of the three great iron works here, the Tredegar, the Old Dominion and the Richmond Locomotive Works, employing probably 2,500 hands between them. Of this class, there are, besides, two big stove works, the Richmond Spike Works and the Johnson forge, for car axles, in Manchester; electric light, and electrical construction companies and establishments, and half a dozen carriage and wagon and agricultural implement works, of more than local note and business, not to mention the minor shops and smithies that are here in scores. [RVCJ93]

Despite this, Snyder’s work was arguably longer-lived and more visible than any of the big three.

March 2020 — Asa Snyder ironfronts on the J. P. Winston Building, which as originally 101-107 South Fourteenth Street, no matter Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC’s current address

March 2020 — Asa Snyder ironfronts on the J. P. Winston Building, which as originally 101-107 South Fourteenth Street, no matter Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC’s current address

A number of partial facades were provided by Richmonder Asa Snyder. Snyder, along with the constellation of firms associated with his name, seems to have had several standard designs. Several buildings used a squared-off, classical colonnade with capitals made up of what looks like slightly over-ripe fruit. Others used a more geometrically precise rectangular ornament. Snyder provided a full range of architectural ornaments for his buildings which also possess cast iron window caps and cornices.

March 2020 — Asa Snyder ironfronts at Sam Miller’s — 1210 East Cary Street

March 2020 — Asa Snyder ironfronts at Sam Miller’s — 1210 East Cary Street

Snyder also provided the ironwork for the 1871 Columbian Building, now Sam Miller’s Exchange Cafe. The building possesses galvanized cornices and cast iron window caps. The most impressive use of iron in the building is the attenuated Corinthian columns used to support the roof of the third floor Exchange Room. The Columbian Building was Richmond’s corn and grain exchange and the Exchange Room is one of the most important early commercial spaces remaining in the city.

March 2020 — Asa Snyder ironfronts at Baldwin & Jenkins — 1321 ½ East Main Street, the skinniest building in Richmond

March 2020 — Asa Snyder ironfronts at Baldwin & Jenkins — 1321 ½ East Main Street, the skinniest building in Richmond

The most curious of the fronts is a minuscule building inserted in a 7 ½ foot space on Main Street. While painted to match the adjacent Southern Railroad Supply Building, this structure is completely different and distinct. It was made by Architectural Ironworks of Richmond, one of Snyder’s firms. [CAW]

March 2020 — Baldwin & Jenkins ironfront detail

March 2020 — Baldwin & Jenkins ironfront detail

The man got around. Or rather men. As noted above, Asa Snyder died in 1884, leaving the business to his son, Asa K. Snyder. The son himself would die in 1892 at the tender age of 32, and despite a Richmond Times advertisement from 1894, the end of the company was nigh.

March 2020 — looking towards 1008-1012 East Cary Street

March 2020 — looking towards 1008-1012 East Cary Street

The block where the foundry stood would be substantially altered with the construction of the First & Merchants National Bank Building in 1973, which eliminated the portion of Eleventh Street that used to run through it. The image above is an approximation of where Eleventh Street would have been (right), putting Architectural Iron Works somewhere in the center.

Snyder also made contributions to Old City Hall. The Shockoe Examiner has an excellent article on old spiral staircases, which includes the iron staircase in the clock tower. Good reading!

(Architectural Iron Works is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [AAA] Allison & Addison’s Handbook of the Garden, Seed Catalog, and Almanac for 1868.
  • [CAW] Cast and Wrought. Robert P. Withrop. 1980.
  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [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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Wholesale and Retail, Wines and Liquors

A look back at the corner 18th and Franklin Streets.

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Wholesale and Retail, Wines and Liquors
Mr. S. W. Robinson, Prop.
Corner 18th and Franklin Sts.

Spottswood W. Robinson was born in King William Co., Va. Dec. 15, 1858, attended school in the country only six months and has never attended any educational institution since. He left King William Co., and came to Richmond and stayed with Dr. O. A. Crenshaw attending to milk dairy etc. He remained with him about one year. He then went to Mr. N. J. Smith and remained with him in business from ‘71 to ’79. At that time he went into business for himself on Main St., bet. 18th and 19th Sts. He removed then to 16 N. 18th St., and from there to his present location, No. 23 N. 18th St. (Richmond Planet)

And there’s Masonic Hall right behind where this used to be.


(Wholesale and Retail, Wines and Liquors is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


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