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RVA Legends — Old Dominion Tobacco Works

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

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[IOR] — from an advertisement for Old Dominion Tobacco Works — note the boat docked beside the building

AKA Myers Brothers & Company
Nineteenth & Cary Streets
Built, 1850
Demolished, 2013?
VDHR 127-6722

Tobacco makers that mysteriously vanished.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 2 — note the absence of any waterway immediately adjacent to the building

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 2 — note the absence of any waterway immediately adjacent to the building

Old Dominion Tobacco Works.—Manufacturers of Plug Tobacco, corner of 19th and Cary streets. Messrs. Myers Bros. & Co. are the proprietors of the “Old Dominion.” Fred. G. Myers and Jacob Edel, of Richmond, and Sigo and Herman Myers, of Savannah, compose the firm. About four years ago this firm came here from Lynchburg, and built their splendid factory

[USANJ] — Old Dominion Tobacco Works advertisement in the Army/Navy Journal

[USANJ] — Old Dominion Tobacco Works advertisement in the Army/Navy Journal

The building is 170 feet long, with two wings of no by 45 feet, and four stories high, with a basement, which is used for the storage of leaf in hogsheads. The first floor is the prizing and stock room, the second floor the lump makers’ room, the third floor the drying and picking room, and the fourth is the job room.

(Art.com) — 1867 advertisement for Love Tobacco, depicting “love” in the form Johnny Reb forking over his chaw to Billy Yank in exchange for some gwop

(Art.com) — 1867 advertisement for Love Tobacco, depicting “love” in the form Johnny Reb forking over his chaw to Billy Yank in exchange for some gwop

Enterprise has marked their footsteps since their advent in this city, and success has crowned their every effort. Fortunate, first, in having erected such a handsome and commodious structure, and in the selection of its name.

Second. In placing upon the markets, both foreign and domestic, such excellent brands of tobacco, as their specialties: “Fanny Edel,” “L. Rond,” “Epicure,” “Alarm,” “Love” “Old Sledge,” “Saratoga,” “ Old Dominion,” and “Tip Top.”

Third. In the selection of the most reliable agents in all the principal cities of the United States, to represent their goods.

(Pinterest) — Myers Brothers & Company tobacco label for Old Sledge, a cunning metaphor for its cancerous charms

(Pinterest) — Myers Brothers & Company tobacco label for Old Sledge, a cunning metaphor for its cancerous charms

Fourth. In having first carried off the palm over 27 competitors from various sections of the Union, by being awarded the contract for supplying the United States Government with tobacco for the Navy, Can any other establishment produce such a record? Pluck and unwavering fidelity to business has accomplished this result, right in this city, where there are at least forty factories.

(Find A Grave) — Sigo Myers

(Find A Grave) — Sigo Myers

The capacity of this factory is 3,000,000 pounds yearly. Hands employed, between 450 and 500. They have a large manufactory in Jacksonville, Florida, for making Key West cigars. This is in charge of Mr. Sigo Myers, while the making of the cigars is under the personal supervision of Mr. Gato, a Cuban, who is thoroughly qualified in the business.

(PicClick) — advertising tin for Fanny Edel plug tobacco, a prurient evocation of a young woman & the act of chewing

(PicClick) — advertising tin for Fanny Edel plug tobacco, a prurient evocation of a young woman & the act of chewing

In Savannah, Ga., they have a branch house, under the firm name of H. Myers & Bro., where they are jobbers of cigars, tobacco and liquors. This is managed by Mr. Herman Myers, who is President of the Savannah National Bank, a member of the City Council, and one of the founders of the “Daily Times.”

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 45 — showing the former Old Dominion Tobacco building under ownership of the U. S. Tobacco Co.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 45 — showing the former Old Dominion Tobacco building under ownership of the U. S. Tobacco Co.

If Richmond had a few more such live men as compose this firm, there would never be any ground for the assertion that is sometimes made in the daily press, that this market is losing prestige in the leaf order line. The advice to short-sighted members of the tobacco trade is, “stick close to your desks, and never go to sea, and you all may be rulers of Uncle Sam’s Navie.” Myers Bros. & Co. occupy the waters now. [IOR]

(Rocket Werks RVA Postcards) — showing Liggett & Myers Cigarette Factory No. 25, formerly located at Sixth & Cary Streets

(Rocket Werks RVA Postcards) — showing Liggett & Myers Cigarette Factory No. 25, formerly located at Sixth & Cary Streets

Let’s get a couple things straight right now. First of all the man’s name was Frederick S. Myers, not Frederick G. Myers, an aggravating erratum seemingly intended to thwart the future researcher. He died in 1893, not long after Industries of Richmond was published in 1886.

Second, Myers Brothers did not merge with Liggett & Myers. That company was created in 1873 when J. E. Liggett and Brother got jiggy with George Smith Myers of Missouri, not Frederick, Herman, and Sigo.

[IOR] — showing the complete advertisement for Old Dominion Tobacco Works

[IOR] — showing the complete advertisement for Old Dominion Tobacco Works

Third, despite the fact that the Industries of Richmond advertisement for Old Dominion Tobacco Works states its location as the “Cor. 19th & Cary Sts.“ and depicts a factory building, it is not one that actually stood at that location. Despite the proximity of the Kanawa Canal, no boat has ever sailed down either street. It must be showing the Savanna branch house.

September 2019 — looking towards Nineteenth & Cary Streets today

September 2019 — looking towards Nineteenth & Cary Streets today

So what happened to the business? Did they get bought out by, or transform into, U.S. Tobacco when Frederick died? There’s no evidence that they were swallowed up by Buck Duke’s ravenous American Tobacco Company, and they go unmentioned in the 1893 and 1903 editions of Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James. Curse the incomplete record!

As for the location itself, the entire south portion of the block between Eighteenth and Nineteenth along Cary was razed and reformed into today’s soulless and drab Canal Walk Lofts in 2013.

(Old Dominion Tobacco Works is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [USANJ] The United States Army and Navy Journal and Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces: Volume 25. January 1, 1888.

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2nd Street Festival Announces Full Schedule

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The 2nd Street Festival will return this fall, live and in person, Saturday – Sunday, October 2-3. Marking its 33rd year, the festival celebrates the rich culture of the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood in Downtown Richmond. This FREE event is produced by Venture Richmond Events.

Over the years, it has grown to be one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest street festivals. Thousands visit historic Jackson Ward to reminisce about the days when 2nd Street was the heart and soul of Richmond’s African-American community and was known as “the Harlem of the South.” Today, Jackson Ward continues to be a thriving neighborhood and community.

The 2nd Street Festival is an annual celebration and homecoming over two days that features three stages of live musical entertainment along with popular food vendors, a marketplace and Artists Row to shop, and the Richmond Metropolitan Antique Car Club.

We’re really excited to be back in the Jackson Ward neighborhood,” said Sharon Bassard, Booking and Festival Manager at Venture Richmond. “This year’s lineup features Richmond favorites and up-and-coming artists. From Jazz to Reggae and Gospel to R&B, you’ll be able to find a stage over the weekend with your favorite music – all for free! We ask everyone to be a “good neighbor” and show kindness to one another by following our health and safety guidelines, encouraging you to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and maintain distancing while attending the festival.”

Venture Richmond Events continues to closely monitor CDC and VDH guidelines for COVID-19 protocols for large, in-person outdoor events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local, state, and federal ordinances and recommendations will guide all decisions regarding in-person events. (see COVID-19 guidelines)

 

 

2nd Street Festival 2021 Stage Schedule
(Subject to change)

WAVERLY R. CRAWLEY MAIN STAGE (sponsored by Virginia Union University)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2

  • 11:50 – 12:35pm N.F.U.S.I.O.N.Z.
  • 1:10 – 2:10pm I Would Die 4 U; A Musical Tribute to PRINCE
  • 2:30 – 3:00pm Dancing with Mama D
  • 3:30 – 4:30pm DJ Drake and MC Choco
  • 5:30 – 7:00pm Plunky & Oneness

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3

  • 1:00 – 1:30pm James Johnson Jr
  • 2:00 – 2:30pm Virginia Union University Gospel Choir
  • 3:00 – 4:00pm J Tucker and The Krewe
  • 4:45 – 6:00pm Mighty Joshua

JOE KENNEDY JR. JAZZ STAGE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2

  • 12:00 – 1:15pm Joe Kennedy, Jr. Scholarship Recipient Chet Frierson
  • 1:45 – 2:45pm Debra Dean & The Key West Band
  • 3:15 – 4:15pm Saxsmo “Stepping Out”
  • 4:45 – 6:00pm Nathan Mitchell

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3

  • 1:00 – 1:50pm Ashby Anderson’s Vibe
  • 2:10 – 3:10pm Larri Branch Agenda
  • 3:30 – 4:30pm Jazz In The Spirit
  • 5:00 – 6:00pm Curv Appeal

EGGLESTON HOTEL COMMUNITY STAGE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2

  • 12:00 – 12:10pm Welcome – Historic Jackson Ward Association- Janis Allen
  • 12:30 – 1:10pm Young Prince Charles
  • 1:40 – 2:00pm Richmond Urban Dance Company
  • 2:30 – 3:30pm Bak N Da Day
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm Drew Miles and Company

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3

  • 1:30 – 2:00pm Chiquita Cross
  • 2:30 – 3:15pm DJ Milk D
  • 3:50- 4:30pm Glennroy & Company
  • 5:00 –6:00pm Testiphy Band

Saturday’s Headliner, Plunky & Oneness

For over 50 years, Richmond saxophonist, songwriter and producer J. Plunky Branch has been at the vanguard of Afro-centric jazz, funk, R&B, house music, and go-go, weaving these interrelated musical forms into a forward-looking message of empowerment, positivity, and cultural awareness. Along with his band, Plunky & Oneness, he has appeared in concert with some of the biggest names in Black music, including Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, LL Cool J, Chuck Brown, and more. His song “Every Way But Loose” was a top-ten soul music chart hit in London in the 1980’s and his hit single, “Drop,” was released in 2007. He also wrote “2nd Street Jaunt,” a song that Venture Richmond used in TV commercials promoting the 2019 festival. He will be performing at the festival on Saturday, October 2 from 5:30 – 7:00pm at the Waverly R. Crawley Main Stage.

Saturday’s Featured Jazz Stage Artist, Nathan Mitchell

Nathan Mitchell was recently named one of the final nominees for a 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album for his newest release Donny, Duke and Wonder. He will be featured on the Jazz Stage Saturday, October 2 from 4:45 – 6:00pm.

Sunday’s Closing Performance, Mighty Joshua

Closing out the festival on Sunday, October 3 from 4:45 – 6:00pm is reggae artist, Mighty Joshua, whose soulful exploration in the evolution of sound creates an expression of reggae for the modern day.

Official Festival Poster Artist, Unicia Buster

Purchase an official 2021 2nd Street Festival poster designed by local quilter and artist, Unicia Buster. The new poster will be unveiled on September 23, watch on Facebook Live! Posters will be available for sale at the festival, or at Plan 9 Music in Carytown and online at Plan9Music.com starting on Monday, October 4.

Jackson Project Weekend Activities

The JXN Project is a historic preservation project that celebrates the 150th anniversary of Jackson Ward by properly contextualizing the origin story of the nation’s first historically registered Black urban neighborhood. JXN is designed to excavate, elevate and educate the hidden histories of the city’s sixth ward, which inspired an effort to erect honorary street designations in honor of notable Jackson Wardians, also known as “Unveiling The Vanguard.” The 2nd Street Festival is partnering with JXN as they virtually unveil the vanguard by video released across their social media and website on October 2. Also, on October 2, festival-goers are invited to engage in a socially distanced, self-guided tour of the honorary street signs. For all details, visit www.thejxnproject.com and follow @TheJXNProject on all social media platforms.

Radio One’s “2nd Street MIX” Weekend

Back again for another year, 2nd Street Festival partner Radio One’s “2nd Street MIX” weekend will get you ready for the festival by bringing you mixes from the hottest DJs in the city! Tune into 99.3/105.7 KISS FM on Saturday, October 2 from 4:00pm-midnight and Sunday, October 3 from noon-7:00pm. Hear mixes from DJ King Tutt, DJ Drake, and DJ Lonnie B playing all your favorite 2nd Street Festival hits!

FREE Walking Tours, guided by Gary Flowers

Venture Richmond Events will provide FREE guided walking tours led by Gary Flowers who has a four-generation family connection to Historic Jackson Ward. “Educating the public to the place Historic Jackson Ward holds in commerce, education, and dismantling racial segregation in the United States of America is critically important to me,” Mr. Flowers said. These 60-minute tours leave at 1:00pm on Saturday and at 1:00pm on Sunday. Tour groups meet on the sidewalk at the Maggie Walker National Historic Site, 2nd & E. Leigh Streets.

Update on the Kidz Zone

Due to the highly interactive nature of the activities planned for the Kidz Zone, the 2nd Street Festival will not host a family area this year. The Kidz Zone, produced by the Children’s Museum, is a robust and engaging, much-loved, part of the Festival. However, due to the close proximity required for those activities and the lack of an approved COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12, we believe cancelling the activities is best for the safety of our littlest patrons. The Children’s Museum will be back to produce the much-loved Kidz Zone in 2022.

For information about the 2nd Street Festival, please visit: https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/2nd-street-festival-2021/

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PHOTOS: Fall Line Kitchen & Bar opens Thursday inside Richmond Marriott Downtown

Located at 500 E. Broad Street within the newly renovated Richmond Marriott Downtown, Fall Line offers an upscale-casual eatery with ingredient-focused comfort food alongside regional craft beer and cocktails.

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On Thursday, September 23rd, Fall Line Kitchen & Bar, a new restaurant in downtown Richmond, will open its doors for dinner service.

Located at 500 E. Broad Street within the newly renovated Richmond Marriott Downtown, Fall Line offers an upscale-casual eatery with ingredient-focused comfort food alongside regional craft beer and cocktails.

“We’re excited to start showing guests what our talented team has put together and giving the community a taste of what Fall Line has to offer,” said Peyton Powell, Fall Line’s head chef and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris. “We’ve developed a creative menu featuring dishes including lump crab hushpuppies and truffled bucatini.”

Throughout the month of October, a portion of Fall Line proceeds will go to support RVA Community Fridges, a nonprofit organization providing free food to Richmonders via community refrigerators. The restaurant will donate $1 for every signature cocktail and $1 for every cornbread appetizer purchased.

Fall Line offers an indoor dining area that seats 124, an outdoor patio that seats 34, and indoor bar seating for 59. Also available is a private dining room for up to 30. Initially open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 5-11 p.m., Fall Line plans to soon expand hours and offer a lunch, breakfast, and brunch menu. Reservations for the restaurant can be made via OpenTable.

Fall Line is continuing to hire for a number of positions, including cooks, servers, bartenders, hosts, dishwashers and support staff.

Fall Line’s name is a nod to the geological feature that shaped Virginia’s landscape and the location of Richmond. At the Fall Line, the James River flows over a series of rapids, or “falls,” and crosses from the hard bedrock of the Piedmont to the softer sand and clay of the Coastal Plain. The restaurant’s design evokes a distinct sense of place and highlights the variety of landscapes created by this geological feature.

Designed by //3877, the restaurant draws inspiration from the natural and geological world, including a can’t-miss mural of a Kingfisher bird created by local artist Hamilton Glass.

For more information about Fall Line or to join the team, visit www.FallLineRestaurant.com or follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.

     

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Emancipation and Freedom Monument Unveiling on Wednesday

The project to build the monument began as part of the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

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The Emancipation and Freedom Monument will be dedicated and unveiled in a ceremony on September 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. on Brown’s Island in Richmond.

The project to build the monument began as part of the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

The monument, designed by Thomas Jay Warren of Oregon, features two 12-foot bronze statues representing a man, woman, and infant newly freed from slavery. Dedicated to the contributions of African American Virginians in the centuries-long fight for emancipation and freedom, the monument highlights notable African American Virginians who have made significant contributions to the emancipation and freedom of formerly enslaved persons or descendants. The base of the monument features the names, images, and brief biographical information of ten African American Virginians whose lives were dedicated to Emancipation and freedom — five individuals from the period before Emancipation through 1865, and five who continued to work for freedom from 1866 to 1970.

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