Connect with us

Downtown

RVA Legends — T. C. Williams Tobacco Company

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

Avatar

Published

on

[RVCJ93] — T. C. Williams Tobacco Company’s Works — Sixth & Canal Streets NE?

117 South Seventh Street
403 South Seventh Street
Sixth & Canal Streets NE
Sixth & Canal Streets SW

A tobacconist that named a law school.

(Library of Congress) — Box making in the T. C. Williams Tobacco Co. — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

(Library of Congress) — Box making in the T. C. Williams Tobacco Co. — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

The T. C. Williams Company, tobacco manufacturers at the foot of Seventh street, operates here, as a single concern, two of the largest factories, making plug and twist chiefly, and fine export tobaccos largely, not of Richmond only, but of the United States.

(Library of Congress) — “Lumpers” at T. C. Williams Tobacco Co., circa 1899 — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

(Library of Congress) — “Lumpers” at T. C. Williams Tobacco Co., circa 1899 — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900 — “Lumpers,” a term used to describe anyone whose job it is to manually handle freight in a warehouse

This company was incorporated in 1889, upon the death of the late Thomas C. Williams (from whom it takes its name), as successor to the old firm of Thomas C. Williams & Co., whose predecessor was James Thomas, Jr., established more than fifty years ago. It has $400,000 capital stock.

(Library of Congress) — African Americans, mostly women, sorting tobacco at T. C. Williams Tobacco Co. — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

(Library of Congress) — African Americans, mostly women, sorting tobacco at T. C. Williams Tobacco Co. — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

The output of its two factories is from 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 pounds of finished stock annually. It furnishes employment to some 700 hands, and is, perhaps, the best known concern of the trade here to the dealers in foreign lands.

(Library of Congress) — Pot presses at T. C. Williams Tobacco Co. — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

(Library of Congress) — Pot presses at T. C. Williams Tobacco Co. — Images collected by W.E.B. Du Bois & Thomas J. Calloway for the “American Negro Exhibit” at the Paris Exposition of 1900

It was a notable establishment before the war, even, and is still manufacturing many of the brands that were originated by it then. It is best known, perhaps, by its famous “Lucy Hinton” brand; scarcely less so, however, than by numerous others, among them the following:

(iCollector) — advertisement for Nosegay — note the brand is now owned by American Tobacco Co.

(iCollector) — advertisement for Nosegay — note the brand is now owned by American Tobacco Co.

“Mattaponi,” “May Apple,” “Nosegay,” “Paris Medal,” “Golden Eagle,” “Plum,” “Old Dominion,” and many others for domestic consumption; and for foreign trade, “Imperial Ruby,” “Bird’s-Eye Twist,” “Victory,” “Golden Eagle,” “Mabel,” “Juno,” “Janus,” etc.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 1 — showing the Sixth & Canal Street locations

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 1 — showing the Sixth & Canal Street locations

It is hardly necessary to go into details concerning the processes of manufacture in this establishment. It is sufficient to say, in that respect, that its management is in the hands of experts in the business of life-long identification with it, and that its fame, both in this country and abroad, conclusively establishes the superiority of its products.

(Find A Grave) — Thomas C. Williams Sr.

(Find A Grave) — Thomas C. Williams Sr.

The late T. C. Williams was manager of it for the founder of the business before he reached the head of it himself; and to his efforts, in large part, the development of this trade is due. He succeeded Mr. Thomas in 1862, and the firm of T. C. Williams & Co. succeeded him in 1886.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 8 — showing the 403 South Seventh Street factory

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 8 — showing the 403 South Seventh Street factory

Robert S. Bosher, James T. Parkinson and Thomas C. Williams, Jr., were his partners in that firm. Mr. Bosher is president of the company now; Mr. Williams, vice-president; Mr. Parkinson, superintendent; and Mr. W. S. Wortham, secretary and treasurer.

[RVCJ93] — T. C. Williams Tobacco Company Factory 2 — 403 South Seventh Street?

[RVCJ93] — T. C. Williams Tobacco Company Factory 2 — 403 South Seventh Street?

Mr. J. C. Knox manages the company’s “No. 2” factory. Mr. Bosher is a native of the city, and has been with the house from his sixteenth year. He may certainly be said to have been raised to the business. Mr. Parkinson has been in the business twenty-two years; Mr. Wortham seventeen years; and Mr. Williams eight or ten years. [RVCJ93]

[RVCJ93] — T. C. Williams Tobacco Company Factory 3 — Sixth & Canal Streets SW?

[RVCJ93] — T. C. Williams Tobacco Company Factory 3 — Sixth & Canal Streets SW?

T. C. Williams was another of those tobacco men who also dabbled in railroads and banks, and became stinking rich in the process. He was also a trustee of Richmond College and gave generously to that institution.

September 2019 — looking toward Sixth & Canal Streets NE

September 2019 — looking toward Sixth & Canal Streets NE

When he died at the relatively young age of 57 in 1899, the family donated $25,000 as an endowment for the Richmond College law school, which was named the T.C. Williams School of Law in 1920. Sadly, UR rebranded it as the University of Richmond School of Law in recent years and lost the connection to its early benefactor. (Find A Grave)

September 2019 — looking towards Sixth & Canal Streets SW

September 2019 — looking towards Sixth & Canal Streets SW

As for the company, in 1903 it was gobbled up by the British-American Tobacco Company, a joint venture of Imperial Tobacco and the American Tobacco Company as part of their tobacco war truce. T. C. Williams continued to operate as a subsidiary in Petersburg, but eventually, the company vanished. (Duke University Libraries)

September 2019 — looking toward 117 South Seventh Street

September 2019 — looking toward 117 South Seventh Street

As for the factory locations, the 1893 edition of Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James doesn’t tell the whole story. It says that the business operated “at the foot of Seventh street”, and Baist shows both of these South Seventh Street locations as belonging to the James Thomas Estate, so they are likely the originating factories.

September 2019 — looking towards 403 South Seventh Street, which would be somewhere near the top of the stairs

September 2019 — looking towards 403 South Seventh Street, which would be somewhere near the top of the stairs

However, Baist also shows the Sixth Street addresses under the ownership of T. C. Williams, so the business expanded to four locations by 1889. Unfortunately, Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James is aggravatingly silent as to where each of the three illustrated buildings actually stood. The tentative identification here is purely guesswork based on orientation and topography.

(T. C. Williams Tobacco 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.

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

Community

Suspect Sought in Theft from Broad Street Building

It’s not stated by RPD but based on Tweets earlier this week we believe this is Mayor Stoney’s re-election headquarters.

Avatar

Published

on

From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify the individual in the attached photos who is suspected of stealing from a building on West Broad Street on Monday.

During the early morning hours on Monday, October 12, the suspect entered the building in the 2600 block of W. Broad Street and stole a large television from the common area. The suspect was last seen heading west on Broad Street with the TV.

Anyone with information about the identity of this suspect is asked to call Fourth Precinct Detective K.L.  Robinson at (804) 646-6820 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com.  The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used.  All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Downtown

Daily Planet Health Services holding supply drive through end of October

A full list of in-demand items is available on the nonprofit’s website, but among other things, the needs include generic freezer bags (quart and gallon in size); new men’s and women’s underwear, new or gently used t-shirts and socks; prepaid phone cards and prepackaged snacks.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

In advance of colder temperatures and the winter months, Daily Planet Health Services (DPHS) will hold a supply drive throughout the month of October. Supplies collected will be distributed directly to those experiencing homelessness and patients of the nonprofit’s Medical Respite and Safe Haven programs, which offer patients a place to recuperate, re-establish and reconnect – including homeless and veteran populations.

A full list of in-demand items is available on the nonprofit’s website, but among other things, the needs include generic freezer bags (quart and gallon in size); new men’s and women’s underwear, new or gently used t-shirts and socks; prepaid phone cards and prepackaged snacks.

“Traditionally, the summer and winter months are the most difficult for those experiencing homelessness to navigate, and this time of year will be further complicated because many of the resources traditionally utilized by this population have been affected by COVID-19,” said Taylor Garrett, outreach coordinator for Daily Planet Health Services. “Many of the creature comforts that we take for granted on a day-to-day basis are inaccessible for those experiencing homelessness, and these donations will make an impact right away.”

Donated items can be brought to the nonprofits 517 W Grace St Health Center M-F from Oct. 12-30 between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. In an effort to promote social distancing within the facility, those participating are encouraged to call 804-783-2505 to notify DPHS of the delivery, and a member of the team will come out to collect the items.

“In July and August, we were absolutely heartened by the generosity and support shown by the Richmond community, who turned out and supported our work to keep the homeless population nourished and hydrated during the hottest months of the year,” said Anita Bennett, acting CEO of Daily Planet Health Services. “We truly would not be able to succeed without the support of the Richmond community, and our hope is that those around the city will come together with the common goal of continuing to assist those in need.”

Individuals and families also are encouraged to take part in service projects, and a full list of opportunities is available on the nonprofit’s website. The projects were designed to help educate and engage those who want to help in a hands-on way, but have been prevented from doing so due to the pandemic. A range of options are available, which can be completed individuals, families or groups of students, church groups or offices.

If individuals would like to assist the DPHS in this effort, but are uncomfortable with purchasing items in-store and dropping them off at the health center, fiscal donations can be tagged with “Supply Drive” in the additional comments section of the online donation form under “Donate” at dailyplanetva.org, which will be used by the nonprofit to purchase resources off of the supply list.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Downtown

Black Lives Matter renews interest in Richmond’s Black culture and history

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped renew interest in Richmond’s African American culture and history, according to community leaders.

Capital News Service

Published

on

By Cierra Parks

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped renew interest in Richmond’s African American culture and history, according to community leaders.

BLK RVA is an initiative launched in August 2019 between Richmond Region Tourism and 20 community leaders to highlight historic African American tourist attractions and engage visitors in events that support Richmond’s Black community. The group continues to promote Black-centered tourism in light of recent events. BLK RVA was recently awarded the Richmond Region Tourism Chairman’s Award in recognition of its contributions over the past year.

Tameka Jefferson, the community relations manager for Richmond Region Tourism and BLK RVA, said the Black Lives Matter movement has generated more interest in African American tourism, which she said is “long overdue.” Although Black Lives Matter began in 2013, the movement gained more support this year.

“Now is the time that we do need to come together as a community to support our businesses, to support our city and our region,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson also said that in the months following the death of George Floyd in police custody, she has seen more people visit the area around the Robert E. Lee statue. The area has been transformed into space used by the community for art, protest and memorial — and even basketball.

She said people are migrating to this area now that there has been a “staple of just coming together and a staple of community and uprising.”

BLK RVA’s mission is to illustrate that the Richmond region has evolved and is now a multicultural hub that specializes in four pillars: arts and entertainment, food and drink, community and history. She said the state capital is often seen through its outdated history–an outlook that needs to change.

In addition to African American-centered events and fundraisers, BLK RVA promotes the patronizing of what they call “rooted and rising” businesses; ones that have been around a while and others that are up and coming.

One established business is the Elegba Folklore Society, which was established 30 years ago. The Society hosts the annual Down Home Family Reunion and Juneteenth Freedom celebrations in addition to guided heritage tours along the Trail of Enslaved Africans and other historic sites. The trail details the history of slave trade from Africa to Virginia, following a route through the area’s former slave markets and also highlighting African American life leading up to the Civil War.

Omilade Janine Bell, president and artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society, said the company prides itself on educating people because Black stories are often not fully told. She has noticed a renewed interest in learning about Black history in light of the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Jefferson echoes that statement.

“His (George Floyd’s) loss-of-life story has opened the eyes of many whose eyes had been shut tightly before,” Bell said. “Now there is a heightened awareness among Black people and others about the lack of equity.”

Jaynell Pittman-Shaw owns Maple Bourbon, a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch in Richmond’s downtown area that is one of BLK RVA’s “rising” businesses. Pittman-Shaw believes there is a new spotlight on inequity in the Black community.

“That is what people are protesting about right now: systemic and institutional racism,” Pittman-Shaw said. “Black business owners do not have access to the same resources that should be available to any business owner,” but black businesses need more support to thrive.

Jefferson said BLK RVA donated money from online merchandise sales to the Richmond Black Restaurant Experience, which hosts a week-long event in the spring promoting black-owned food businesses. Over $15,000 was raised and distributed evenly among 35 Black Restaurant Week participants affected by COVID-19. Pittman- Shaw was one of the grantees. She plans to “pay it forward” by using the $500 grant she received to help another black-owned restaurant that did not participate in Black Restaurant Week.

Restaurants such as Big Herm’s Kitchen and Soul Taco used the money to help pay employees who were affected when COVID-19 restructured business.

The Richmond Black Restaurant Experience supports black, food-focused businesses, including restaurants, food trucks and catering services. They have raised nearly $50,000, surpassing their new goal of $25,000 according to the group’s GoFundMe page.

In addition to restaurants, other attractions have made adjustments since COVID-19 began. Many of them have migrated to virtual experiences. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture are offering virtual exhibits, including the All in Together collaborative project and Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality. The Elegba Folklore Society broadcast its Juneteenth celebration on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.

The organization also recently promoted the Black is Beautiful beer initiative, a nationwide collaboration created by Marcus J. Baskerville, head brewer and co-owner at Weathered Souls Brewing Co. in San Antonio. Over 30 Virginia craft breweries participated to support people of color and raise funds for police reform and legal defense. Richmond breweries put their spin on the traditional imperial stout recipe to raise money for the Black is Beautiful cause. The Answer, Hardywood, The Veil and Lickinghole Creek were among the Richmond-area breweries that created stouts for the initiative. Each brewery will donate the proceeds to organizations that support the Black is Beautiful cause.

BLK RVA has also highlighted events such as the RVA Black Farmers Market, the Richmond Night Market and events hosted by UnlockingRVA.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather