Connect with us

Downtown

RVA Legends — Old Dominion Tobacco Works

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

Avatar

Published

on

[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.

rocket_werks

Comments

comments

Combining protean forces from the forbidden Zero Serum with the unbridled power of atomic fusion, to better probe the Wisdom of the Ancients and their Forgotten Culture.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Downtown

Schools, nonprofits hustle to feed over a half million Virginia students: ‘It’s incredible’

Richmond school bus driver Tyrone McBride is still driving a big, yellow bus through Richmond neighborhoods, but these days, he’s transporting boxes of food for kids in need. More than a week has passed since Gov. Ralph Northam announced students will not return to school this academic year, and volunteers are still fighting to feed the 590,000 children in Virginia with free or reduced lunches who were ordered to remain home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Capital News Service

Published

on

By Hannah Eason

Richmond school bus driver Tyrone McBride is still driving a big, yellow bus through Richmond neighborhoods, but these days, he’s transporting boxes of food for kids in need.

“It gets me out of the house,” said McBride, who has been a school bus driver for 18 years, “and you know, you’re doing a great deed and helping people out.”

More than a week has passed since Gov. Ralph Northam announced students will not return to school this academic year, and volunteers are still working to feed the 590,000 children in Virginia eligible for free or reduced lunches who were ordered to remain home during the coronavirus pandemic. Schools have been closed since March 16, though students were originally slated to return by March 27.

Whitcomb Court resident Simone Sanders said her children are now eating at home during the day, but she didn’t receive an increase in food stamps. One child is disabled, which prevents Sanders from being able to work.

“It’s affecting us bad, especially in the projects, and there’s nothing for the kids to do all day,” Sanders said. “And then you have to worry about your child just being outside getting shot.”

Sanders said she’s grateful for the food from Richmond Public Schools, and says she occasionally gives food to neighborhood kids who say they’re hungry.

The Richmond Public Schools meal distribution program, like others around the state, continues to evolve during the coronavirus pandemic that caused a surge of Virginians to file for unemployment. Almost 46,300 Virginians filed for unemployment between March 15 and March 21. The previous week 2,706 people filed an unemployment claim, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

The program started with 10 school sites, and has since grown into at least 43 sites throughout the community and 10 school sites.

Erin Stanley, director of family engagement at Richmond Public Schools, said volunteers, bus drivers and the district’s nutrition staff have made the efforts possible. Volunteers were using personal vehicles to drop off food, but RPS decided that school buses would better suit the cause.

“We did that for a couple of reasons,” Stanley said. “One, so we can get more food out, and two, because school buses are a bit more well known and probably more trusted than individual volunteers going in with their personal vehicles.”

Plastic bags filled with milk cartons, sandwiches, apples and snacks are handed out in neighborhoods found on the Richmond Public Schools’ website. School distribution sites are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and neighborhood times vary by location. Any student in the school district can use the program, Stanley said.

Volunteer Natalie Newfield said many families she gave meals to lost jobs in the restaurant industry.

 “They’re changing the way they do deliveries, which is amazing,” Newfield said. “Every day you give them a count. If they need more food, the next day, all of a sudden your bus has more food. It’s incredible.”

Statewide efforts to feed children in Virginia

When schools closed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture activated the Summer Meals Program, which funds public schools and local organizations to serve breakfast and lunch during the summer.

Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William, pressed the USDA to change its policy which required parents to have their child with them when picking up food.

Roem said it was difficult for a Prince William County mother to access food for her two children. Her daughter has an immune system deficiency caused by recent cancer treatments, making her susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.

“When you’re talking about a 7-year-old with cancer, we have to really evaluate what is it that our policy is trying to prevent that is more important than feeding a child with cancer,” Roem said.

Roem said she was able to bring groceries to the family, who live in the representative’s district. As they carried bags of food inside, Roem said the mother told her children, “We’re eating tonight.”

“I fought with the USDA for a full week and won a major, major victory for kids throughout Virginia and across the country, and especially immunocompromised kids, to make sure that they stay safe, that they stay home,” Roem said.

The USDA waived the restriction last week, and states can now choose to waive the in-person policy for students to receive food.

No Kid Hungry, a national campaign launched by nonprofit Share Our Strength, is offering emergency grants to local school divisions and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants can help people who are trying to make meal distribution possible, but may lack the equipment necessary to feed children outside of a school setting.

Sarah Steely, senior program manager at No Kid Hungry Virginia, said the grants can fund necessities like vehicles, gas, coolers and equipment to keep food safe during distribution.

“Those might not be resources that folks already have, because those aren’t service models that were expected of them before,” Steely said, “so we’re here to support community organizations and school divisions as they figure out what it is they need to distribute to kids.”

The organization works with YMCAs, childcare centers, libraries and all 133 of Virginia’s public school divisions.

The organization recently activated their texting hotline for those unsure of where their next meal is coming from: text “FOOD” to 877-877. The hotline is generally used during the summer months, but was reactivated to combat food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Steely called the hotline “a tool in a bigger toolbox of resources” and encouraged families to contact their local school board for updated information about their locality.

“They count on that as a primary source of nutrition, so with schools closed, we want to make sure that the students who are accessing meals at school are now accessing those meals at home,” Steely said.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

Use Exact Change or E-Zpass on Powhite Parkway Starting Today

There will be no manned booths taking money on Powhite for the foreseeable future.

Avatar

Published

on

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has temporarily suspended cash exchange tolls on Powhite Parkway extension and the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge. This means there won’t be someone to take your money so either have exact change, pay too much, or use an E-Zpass. No mention of any changes to Nickel aka Boulevard Bridge.

As of April 1, if you make an unpaid trip on a Virginia toll facility, you may be able to pay that toll through the “missed-a-toll” process before receiving a notice/invoice. The “missed-a-toll” payment process must take place within six days of the unpaid toll trip.

The standard administration fee associated with “missed-a-toll” has been suspended temporarily.

Exact change can still be dropped into the coin basket at the Powhite Parkway Extension.

E-ZPass is now the most convenient and safest way to pay tolls.

For more information or to order your own E-ZPass, click here.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

Friday Cheers cancels, postpones various concerts amid COVID-19

Venture Richmond Events staff is working to reschedule Friday Cheers’ early June artist performances, and remain cautiously optimistic about performances later in June.

Avatar

Published

on

Friday Cheers fans are devoted and unwavering, but in these times we must all be mindful that the COVID-19 virus has dramatically changed our daily social interactions and we must all follow the directives of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home executive order through June 10.

The governor’s order prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals.

With these guidelines, and for the safety of both our patrons and staff, we have made the following changes to the May Friday Cheers schedule:

  • Jade Bird with Sweet Potatoes that was previously scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2020 is cancelled.
  • Billy Strings with Andrew Alli and Josh Small is rescheduled for Wednesday, August 26, 2020.
  • RVA Music Night – Palm Palm is rescheduled for Friday, May 21, 2021.
  • Jay Som with Angelica Garcia – We are working to reschedule this show for Friday Cheers 2021 and will provide details when finalized.

Venture Richmond Events staff is working to reschedule Friday Cheers’ early June artist performances, and remain cautiously optimistic about performances later in June.

2020 Friday Cheers Season Pass holders can still use their pass for the remaining June Friday Cheers events and for the rescheduled Billy Strings event on August 26, 2020.

In addition, as a thank you for your understanding during this difficult time, 2020 Season Pass holders will receive a 50% discount off a 2021 Friday Cheers Season Pass! TicketsToBuy.com will email current Season Pass holders with information about the discount which can be used when purchasing a 2021 Season Pass.

Those who have purchased a ticket online for any one of these May events may request a refund by emailing [email protected]com beginning Friday, April 3, 2020.

Venture Richmond Events, LLC and its staff work to produce an excellent experience for you on Brown’s Island, but we take the safety and health of our guests, staff, and community very seriously, and appreciate your continued support moving forward.

At this time, all other events produced by Venture Richmond Events, LLC, including the June Friday Cheers events, remain scheduled as planned, but are subject to change. Again, thank you for your continued support of Friday Cheers.

Presented by: Pacifico
Sponsored by: CoStar, Dominion Green Power,  Delta Hotels by MarriottDrive Shack103.7 PlayRichmond.comStyle Weekly NBC12CW Richmond and Easley Made Catering.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather

Events Calendar