Must-See RVA! — Peter Copland House

Must-See RVA! — Peter Copland House

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

September 2019 — 1102 West Main Street
September 2019 — 1102 West Main Street
  • Residence
    1102 West Main Street
    Built, between 1877-1889
  • Stone Yard
    619 East Canal

A fine place to get your grub on.

[RVCJ93] — 1102 West Main Street, circa 1893
[RVCJ93] — 1102 West Main Street, circa 1893

Peter Copland, quarryman and stonemason and contractor for monumental work and stone cutting, has yards at Seventh and Canal streets, supplied with cranes, etc., and all the necessary mechanical facilities for the business, into which yards the tracks of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad runs. He has lately purchased also a tract of land on the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, three and a half miles from the city, upon which he will shortly open a quarry that contains an inexhaustible supply of the finest granite.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 83
(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 83

Mr. Copland began business here in this line in 1830 as a member of the firm of Mitchell & Copland, and when Mr. Mitchell died about two years ago, he succeeded to the entire business. He employs about forty hands and does business not merely in this State, but in all parts of the South. He is a shipper also of brownstone and other materials to the West.

[CDRVA] — advertisement in Chataigne’s Directory of Richmond, 1892
[CDRVA] — advertisement in Chataigne’s Directory of Richmond, 1892

Among other jobs of construction executed by him here the following may be mentioned: The new Masonic Temple; the First street viaduct, extending to Barton Heights; the granite work on the Lombardy School; the stone work on Mr. W. L. Royall’s house; on Major Dooley’s fine residence in the Western suburbs of the city; and on Clay Ward market.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 8 — showing the Copland stone yard
(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 8 — showing the Copland stone yard

Mr. Copland is ready to estimate on or undertake any sort of work, in his line, to be done anywhere in this country, or to furnish material from his own quarries of these parts. He lives in the substantial residence shown in the halftone cut on page 111 of this work.

September 2019 — looking towards former 619 East Canal Street stone yard today
September 2019 — looking towards former 619 East Canal Street stone yard today

Times change and West Main Street transitioned from being a residential district to a business one, smack in the middle of VCU country. Today the former house is now The Pit and the Peel, right next door to Piccola’s.

City of Richmond says that 1102 West Main was built 1900, but that surely can’t be, since its picture appears in the 1893 edition of Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James. It’s not on the 1877 Beers maps but shows up by 1889 on the Baist maps, built some time in that 12-year span.

(Peter Copland House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [CDRVA] Chataigne’s Directory of Richmond, Va. J. H. Chataigne. 1892.
  • [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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