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RVA Legends — Allison & Addison

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

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[IOR] — Allison & Addison’s Fertilizing and Chemical Works, Richmond, Virginia — circa 1886

1322 East Cary Street (Office)
Manchester Docks (Factory)

You keep those fertilizer plants downriver… and downwind.

[RVCJ03] — Allison & Addison Factory, Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company — circa 1903

[RVCJ03] — Allison & Addison Factory, Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company — circa 1903

Allison & Addison, manufacturers of sulphuric acid and fertilizers, of this city, have their works on the south side of the river below Manchester, and opposite Richmond’s suburb of Rocketts. These works cover some four acres of ground. In the buildings alone there are some two acres of flooring. These buildings are fitted up completely with machinery, some of it imported ‘from Europe, and some of it specially manufactured for these works.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 45 — showing campus & buildings of the Virginia-Carolina Chemical Co. Allison & Addison Branch at Manchester Docks

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 45 — showing campus & buildings of the Virginia-Carolina Chemical Co. Allison & Addison Branch at Manchester Docks

There is fifteen feet of water at low tide at the landing of these works, and vessels of 1,000 tons can load there. In these works from 50 to 75 hands are employed according to the state of trade. The output, with a capacity of a hundred tons a day (about 15,000 tons a year) is $100,000 to $300,000 annually, the exact figures depending upon the prices that may be prevailing for the time. [RVCJ03]

(Find A Grave) — John Addison

(Find A Grave) — John Addison

This firm is composed of Messrs. J. W. Allison, E. B. Addison, William H. Allison and John Addison, and it is the oldest house in the fertilizing line in this city. [IOR]

(Duke University Libraries) — 1884 advertisement for Allison & Addison’s High-Grade “Star Brand” Fertilizers for Wheat and Grass, Richmond, Virginia

(Duke University Libraries) — 1884 advertisement for Allison & Addison’s High-Grade “Star Brand” Fertilizers for Wheat and Grass, Richmond, Virginia

These gentlemen are conspicuous for the interests they have here in banks and financial institutions of the city, and in manufacturing concerns, besides this, and other important projects. Their city offices are at 1322 Cary street. They have membership as a firm in the Chamber of Commerce. [RVCJ03]

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Times, December 31, 1899 — Allison & Addison Factory. Situated on the Right Bank of the River, Opposite Rocketts. Yearly Capacity, 20,000 Tons of Manufactured Fertilizer. Number of Men Employed 135

(Chronicling America) — Richmond Times, December 31, 1899 — Allison & Addison Factory. Situated on the Right Bank of the River, Opposite Rocketts. Yearly Capacity, 20,000 Tons of Manufactured Fertilizer. Number of Men Employed 135

In 1865 they started business as dealers in fertilizers, and their trade assumed such dimensions in a few years that they commenced manufacturing. Thev have a large factory, located in Rocketts, thoroughly equipped, with all the modern machinery necessary to an extensive business, and giving employment to a large number of hands.

September 2019 — looking towards former factory location — note Rockett’s Landing at left

September 2019 — looking towards former factory location — note Rockett’s Landing at left

Their trade is principally located in the Virginias, Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee; and a representative of the house can always be found somewhere on the road, on business intent.

Mr. J. W. Allison is a native of this city, a Director in the National Bank of Virginia, and a member of the James River Improvement. Committee; also, President of the Old Dominion Fruit Growing Company.

(Chronicling America) — advertisement in the Farmville Herald — February 16, 1900

(Chronicling America) — advertisement in the Farmville Herald — February 16, 1900

Mr. E. B. Addison, formerly of Alexandria, Va., has lived here since the war, is a Director in the City Bank, the Virginia Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and a member of the Board of Police Commissioners. Mr. William H. Allison was born in this city, and has always been in his present line of business.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 2 — showing ownership of 1322 by W. H. & J. W. Allison — note Virginia Street used to continue all the to Lombard Alley

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 2 — showing ownership of 1322 by W. H. & J. W. Allison — note Virginia Street used to continue all the to Lombard Alley

Mr. John Addison, formerly of Alexandria, Va., has lived here since 1865, and has been connected with this house ever since. Is Director in Citizens Bank of Richmond, and Director in the Richmond Corn and Cotton Exchange. [IOR]

September 2019 — looking toward 1322 East Cary Street

September 2019 — looking toward 1322 East Cary Street

Allison & Addison may have been first and oldest, but that didn’t stop them from being acquired by the Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company sometime between 1886 and 1900. The builders of the Chemical Building on South Twelfth Street also had operations in Richmond and would continue to until 1963, when they sold out to Socony Mobil Oil.

(Allison & Addison is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [RVCJ03] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1903.

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Majority of City Council asks Mayor Stoney to send Navy Hill plans back to drawing board

Five out of nine City Council members submitted a formal request to Mayor Levar Stoney on Monday afternoon to send plans for the $1.5 billion Navy Hill project back to the drawing board ahead of a planned final vote on the matter in February.

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Five out of nine City Council members submitted a formal request to Mayor Levar Stoney on Monday afternoon to send plans for the $1.5 billion Navy Hill project back to the drawing board ahead of a planned final vote on the matter in February.

The non-binding request, patroned by Kimberly Gray of the 2nd District, Vice President Chris Hilbert of the 3rd District, Councilwoman Kristen Larson of the 4th District, Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch of the 5th District. and Councilwoman Reva Trammell of the 8th District, was rebuked strongly by Mayor Stoney as quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Tuesday, saying, “Honestly, I think if this was 2019 or 2021, we would be doing this today,” Stoney said. “But guess what? They’re thinking about their elections more than anything. They should be thinking about the city of Richmond and the future.”

NH District Corp., the formal entity behind the Navy Hill plans, echoed these sentiments in a news release:

“It’s unfortunate that instead of looking for ways to improve the Navy Hill proposal, these council members are putting their heads in the sand and hoping that the city’s problems resolve themselves,” according to the statement. “We proactively sought to sit down with each of these five members to ask them for their ideas, amendments and recommendations to make this the best possible deal for Richmond, to which they have offered nothing.”

Among the asks that Council made in the request are a more robust public engagement strategy and an appraisal of the city-owned land and buildings part of the plan.

Councilwoman Kim Gray says that she’s simply “responding to the wishes of the people,” while Vice President Chris Hilbert says the plans should be a regional effort supported by the surrounding counties.

A final vote on the matter is expected to take place at the February 24th City Council meeting.

We’ll continue to follow this developing story as more details emerge.

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Tethering bill adds new protections for animals kept outside

Animal rights advocates want lawmakers to advance legislation that expands on a tethering bill passed last year by the General Assembly. The new legislation would increase the minimum length of a tether and adds conditions that include temperature, severe weather and require the animal to be brought inside when the owner isn’t home.

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By Ada Romano

Animal rights advocates want lawmakers to advance legislation that expands on a tethering bill passed last year by the General Assembly. The new legislation would increase the minimum length of a tether and adds conditions that include temperature, severe weather and require the animal to be brought inside when the owner isn’t home.

Senate Bill 272, introduced by Sen. John Bell, D-Loudoun, would increase the required length of the tether from 10 feet or three times the length of the animal to 15 feet or four times the length of the animal. Under the bill, pets can’t be tied during a heat advisory or if a severe weather warning has been issued, including hurricane, tropical storm or tornado warnings. The bill outlaws tethering in temperatures 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower or 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and when an owner is not home. Last session, a bill expanded the law from a 3-foot tether to 10 feet. That bill, introduced by Sen. Lionell Spruill, D-Chesapeake, originally carried the same language as Bell’s current bill, but it was amended by a Senate committee.

Robert Leinberger, animal control supervisor for Richmond Animal Care and Control, said that some parts of the bill may be difficult to enforce. Still, if the legislation gets passed, Leinberger said, it will make a difference because people will be forced to be more aware of the law. He said more people will call to report instances of animals being improperly tethered.

“For example, if it’s inclement weather when it’s really super cold or really super hot, then we do occasionally see more calls for service because of the animals left out,” Leinberger said.

Kate Riviello, a New York-based animal rights activist who also works in Virginia, supports that the bill outlaws outdoor tethering when the temperature is below 32 degrees. Virginia law currently requires that an animal must have access to water, but the water doesn’t make a difference if it freezes, she said.

Riviello also supports “Tommie’s Law,” legislation passed last year that made animal cruelty a felony in Virginia. The law is named after a pit bull that died after he was set on fire. Riviello said she is happy to see the changes Virginia is making to protect the rights of animals but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to continue in the right direction.

“With ‘Tommie’s law,’ I think it was really tremendous that they took that step,” Riviello said. The key also is to enforce animal rights’ laws, Riviello said, which isn’t always the case.

Leinberger said implementing animal rights’ legislation is important because it enables people to better care for their pets. Tethering is just one issue that needs to be addressed, he said.

The bill is awaiting action by the Senate’s Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.

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PHOTOS: Switch’s new concept, 84, takes things back to 1984

The restaurant with quarterly rotating themes is kicking it in the ’80s for the foreseeable future.

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Better start with ellipses as Pac-Man can come eat them! Or spots on a Lite-Brite Board waiting to be filled in with whatever colors and shapes you want.

@thenightowl Mikael Broth has brilliantly painted murals depicting pop culture in 1984: Prince & Purple Rain, Madonna, and the material girl, Michael Jackson as the zombie in Thriller eating popcorn (which seems totally hilarious and wrong across from Gizmo who will undoubtedly be up after midnight).

Stools between seats are painted as Rubix cubes awaiting solving. A bloodied Dr. Indiana Jones watches over the bar on one side while Tetris pieces fall on the other side.

Underneath the seats is Pinky, no Blinky, no maybe that’s Clyde chasing those pellets.

Immerse yourself in memories or if you are younger, dive straight into the tank that is Pop Culture of 1984 on display at Switch.

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