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RVA Legends — Butler & Wilson

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

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[IOR] — Woodside Tobacco Works — 505-517 Brook Avenue, circa 1886

AKA, Woodside Tobacco Works
505-517 Brook Avenue

Now we summon the spirit of Paul Harvey and tell you The Rest of the Story.

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 6

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 6

The old Westham Tobacco Works were at one period among the most famous in Richmond, but upon the death of Mr. Oliver, the senior proprietor, in 1882, the business was divided up, the brands sold, and the premises variously occupied. In October, 1882, the young firm of Butler & Wilson leased the central factory, with all the fittings and improved machinery, and began the manufacture of plug tobacco.

(Rocket Werks RVA Cigarette Cards) — Butler & Wilson cigarette card, reverse

(Rocket Werks RVA Cigarette Cards) — Butler & Wilson cigarette card, reverse

The uniform excellence of their product and their energy and enterprise speedily brought them into notice, and their brands have already attained a wide popularity in the trade. They make all kinds of dark and bright plug.

Their leading brands are “Old Virginia,” *‘B and W Sweet Chew,“ “Tar Baby,” from fine Louisa county sun-cured leaf, “Pipe Full,” and others. Their product sells chiefly in the Northern and New England States and in export markets.

[RVCJ03] — Arthur St. Clair Butler

[RVCJ03] — Arthur St. Clair Butler

Mr. A. St. Clair Butler, the senior partner, was born in Richmond, and is the son of W. F. Butler, who was for forty years a well known merchant of Richmond. Mr. Butler is a practical tobacco manufacturer, having been responsibly connected for twelve years with one of the oldest and most famous of the tobacco manufactories in Richmond.

(Rocket Werks RVA Cigarette Cards) — Butler & Wilson cigarette card, front

(Rocket Werks RVA Cigarette Cards) — Butler & Wilson cigarette card, front

With these exceptional opportunities for learning all the details of the business, he is thoroughly familiar with the requirements of the home and foreign markets in buying, handling, and manufacturing tobacco. All the details of the work pass under his immediate supervision, and nothing but the finest goods ever leave the factory.

(Historic New Orleans Collection) — “Yellow Fever, N. O.”, sketch by Alfred Rudolph Waud,1871 or 1872

(Historic New Orleans Collection) — “Yellow Fever, N. O.”, sketch by Alfred Rudolph Waud,1871 or 1872

Mr. Littell Wilson, the junior partner, who had scarcely attained his majority when he embarked in the business, is the son of the late Rev. Dr. N. W. Wilson, who was one of the most eminent Baptist clergymen of the South, and who fell a martyr to his efforts in behalf of yellow-fever patients during the recent prevalence of the epidemic in New Orleans. Mr. Wilson is a young gentleman of the highest education and character, accurate and enterprising in business matters, and courteous and polished in his deportment. A young firm combining so much practical skill and business ability cannot fail to take a leading position in the commercial world. [IOR]

November 2019 — looking towards 505-517 Brook Avenue

November 2019 — looking towards 505-517 Brook Avenue

This 1886 entry from Industries of Richmond tells us about the early success of old-school tobacco man Arthur St. Clair, just 16 short years prior to his later enterprise, Butler & Bosher, and his subsequent royal screwing by James Buchanan Duke.

The area eventually transformed into Abner Clay Park, which despite its disastrous appearance today, is actually undergoing a makeover, expected to be completed in March 2020.

(Butler & Wilson 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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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.

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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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The Valentine announces 2020 Richmond History Makers

Today, the Valentine announced the six honorees that will be recognized at the 15th Annual Richmond History Makers & Community Update. This program promotes and celebrates the bold, innovative and often unsung work of individuals and organizations who strive to improve their communities.

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Today, the Valentine announced the six honorees that will be recognized at the 15th Annual Richmond History Makers & Community Update. This program promotes and celebrates the bold, innovative and often unsung work of individuals and organizations who strive to improve their communities.

On Tuesday, March 10th at Virginia Union University, the honorees will be celebrated in a room full of family, friends, local leaders, community advocates, non-profit representatives and more.

“After 15 years recognizing the best the Richmond Region has to offer, we are more excited than ever to celebrate our 2020 honorees,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “Our new partnership with the Community Foundation, our return to Virginia Union University and our incredible group of winners are all a part of the Valentine’s wider goal of supporting and strengthening this program through continued community engagement.”

The 15th anniversary of this program also marks the first time the Valentine has partnered with the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond to provide an update on the progress being made across the region.

“Celebrating the Richmond History Makers honorees is a perfect way to reflect on the progress we’ve made as a city as well as the issues that continue to require unified effort,” said Community Foundation Chief Community Engagement Officer Scott Blackwell. “By providing an update on where we are as a region, we can celebrate the honorees while inspiring others in the community to take action.”

The honorees were nominated by members of the Richmond community according to six categories and chosen by a Selection Committee made up of LMR (Leadership Metro Richmond) graduates and former Richmond History Makers Honorees.

“We received nearly 100 nominations this year, and from that large pool of impressive candidates, six incredible honorees were chosen,” said Myra Goodman Smith of Leadership Metro Richmond. “LMR is honored be a part of this program for the 15th year in a row, and we look forward to joining with members of the Richmond community in recognizing these groundbreaking individuals and organizations.”

The 2020 Richmond History Makers and their categories include:

  • For Creating Quality Educational Opportunities, ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation
  • For Championing Social Justice, Tanya Gonzalez, The Sacred Heart Center
  • For Promoting Community Health, Jeannette Cordor, Faces of HOPE
  • For Improving Regional Transportation, Charles Rasnick
  • For Demonstrating Innovative Economic Solutions, BLK RVA Action Team
  • For Advancing our Quality of Life, Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia

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