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RVA Legends — R. H. Whitlock Tobacco Box Factory

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

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[IOR] — R. H. Whitlock Tobacco Factory — 1800 East Cary Street, circa 1886

AKA, Harwood & Jones, C. W. Hardwick & Co.
1800 East Cary Street

Once a box factory, always a box factory.

(VCU)* — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 2

(VCU)* — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 2

This is one of the oldest tobacco box factories in the city, and the largest in its line in the United States. The proprietor of this immense business has four factories, the largest, of which the following is an illustration, is at the corner of Eighteenth and Cary streets, Richmond, one in Danville, one in Lynchburg, and one at Tiffin, Ohio.

These factories have a working capacity for the consumption of 4,000,000 feet of lumber per annum. He employs about seventy-five hands directly, and several hundred indirectly in this industry.

(American Rails) — Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 “American Type” — St. Marys, West Virginia — circa 1910

(American Rails) — Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 “American Type” — St. Marys, West Virginia — circa 1910

The Tiffin factory is located in the best section of the Sycamore country, and the principal portion of the lumber used comes from this belt. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the North-western Ohio Railroad, both have side tracks running to this factory, thus affording competing freight rates to all points between the great rival corporations, the Baltimore and Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroads. The sidings are on the property of Mr. Whitlock.

(PicClick) — Old Virginia Cheroots tobacco box

(PicClick) — Old Virginia Cheroots tobacco box

Boxes in shooks are shipped in car lots at the lowest figures. The trade of this concern is chiefly through Virginia and North Caolina, but shipments are often made to foreign countries. Mr. Whitlock has been in this line of business since March, 1867, and he has ample means for all his purposes. He is an ex-member of the City Council. [IOR]

[RVCJ93] — Harwood & Jones’ Box Factory, circa 1893

[RVCJ93] — Harwood & Jones’ Box Factory, circa 1893

Things change quickly in business. Whitlock died in 1893 at the tender age of 53. The building did not long remain inactive.

Harwood & Jones, manufacturers of tobacco boxes and shooks, at Eighteenth and Cary streets, are successors to R. H. Whitlock, who started this enterprise of theirs about the year 1867. Since the establishment of the business; so many years ago the manufacturing plant has been greatly enlarged and new machinery added from time to time, until, at present, the firm has unsurpassed facilities for carrying on the large and increasing business they enjoy.

(Farm Collector) — a Corliss steam engine which offered the best thermal efficiency of 19th century steam engines — Appleton’s 1885 Cyclopaedia of Applied Mechanics

(Farm Collector) — a Corliss steam engine which offered the best thermal efficiency of 19th century steam engines — Appleton’s 1885 Cyclopaedia of Applied Mechanics

Their factory is located on the comer of Eighteenth and Cary streets. It covers nearly one entire square. Steam is the power used to operate it, and the daily capacity is upwards of two thousand boxes of all description. Tobacco boxes are the leading specialty, and they are produced of excellent quality and superior workmanship, at a comparatively low cost, and are rapidly disposed of to the trade in all the tobacco manufacturing sections.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 45

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 45

This firm cuts upwards of 2,000,- 000 feet of lumber yearly, and, with the numerous advantages possessed, Messrs. Harwood & Jones are prepared to compete with any concern of the kind in this section of the country. [RVCJ93]

Unfortunately, they didn’t compete for very long. They took over Whitlock’s enterprise in 1893, and by 1905, Sanborn shows that it had transformed into C. W. Hardwick & Co., still making boxes.

[FLIN] — Mrs. R. H. Whitelock, the former Miss Lou Ford, circa 1891

[FLIN] — Mrs. R. H. Whitelock, the former Miss Lou Ford, circa 1891

Robert Henry Whitlock may not have been long-lived, but he does appear to have been lucky in love. Indeed, his wife was well regarded enough to rate an effusive and gushing write-up in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper:

Among the gay society leaders of charming old historic Richmond, Mrs. R. H. Whitlock stands conspicuous. Nor is her social success due to wealth, position, and and attractive personality than to the innate graciousness and kindness of heart — the true secret of abiding popularity — that is her fairest heritage.

Mrs. Whitlock excels in the beauty and elegance of her toilettes, Worth and her own inherent taste-combining always to make her one of the most effectively gowned women in any assemblage. She has a beautiful physique, and her skin is as white and smooth as marble A sharp contrast is furnished by her densely dark hair and brows. She entertains magnificently. [FLIN]

November 2019 — looking towards 1800 East Cary Street today

November 2019 — looking towards 1800 East Cary Street today

Whitlock plucked her from the wilds of Covington, Kentucky, and they made their crib on fashionable Franklin Street. [FLIN] Alas for Richmond, when he died Miss Lou found a new husband in William Ambrose Wilson of Kansas City, Missouri, which was where she died at the very young age of 42 in 1899. (Find A Grave)(Ancestry)

(R. H. Whitlock Tobacco Box Factory is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Note

Readers of this space who pay attention to things like the links for reference attribution should know that VCU Libraries has reorganized their public site, and has relocated the Baist Atlas maps. The correct link appears with this post. Sadly, however, there are not enough hours in the day to chase down and correct the hundreds of previous posts which will continue to have the incorrect link. Alas, Rocket Werks laments this condition.


Print Sources

  • [FLIN] Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Saturday, February 21, 1891.
  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [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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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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