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RVA Legends — James Dunlop House

A look into the history of Richmond places that are no longer a part of our landscape.

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[HOR]

101 North Fifth Street
Built, 1844
Demolished, 1928

The house that turned into a hotel.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1895) — Plate 14

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1895) — Plate 14

On January 20, 1844 James Dunlop bought the half-acre lot, number 568, the price of $8000 proving how popular Fifth Street was at that time. This site had the further attraction of being considered the highest elevation in the city, Thomas P. Watkins, the surveyor, having built himself a small frame house there when he ascertained its unique advantage. That house was immediately demolished by Mr. Dunlop, and the mansion was built within the year.

(Find A Grave) — James Dunlop

(Find A Grave) — James Dunlop

James Dunlop (who was born in Richmond in 1801) spent the rest of his life in the house he had built. He had married Ann Dent McRae, daughter of Alexander McRae and it was in this house that the widow of Alexander McRae died. Dunlop was a partner in the ante-bellum firm of Dunlop, Moncure & Co., auctioneers and commission merchants, which was located at the northwest corner of Cary and Eleventh Streets.

(Virginia Places) — showing Dunlop & McCance’s Mills in Manchester

(Virginia Places) — showing Dunlop & McCance’s Mills in Manchester

After the War this firm became Dunlop & McCance and devoted itself exclusively to milling. One of the founders of St. Paul’s Church, Mr. Dunlop was a member of the vestry from 1844 until his death in 1875, at which time he was treasurer. Passing resolutions on his loss, the members of the vestry described him as “the gentle, genial, generous friend.”

(Encyclopedia Virginia) — Reverend John D. Blair, AKA Parson Blair

(Encyclopedia Virginia) — Reverend John D. Blair, AKA Parson Blair

Mrs. Dunlop continued to live there until her death, following which it was the home for about five years of James Alfred Jones. W. Brydon Tennant owned it for a similar period, and in 1899 it was sold to Walter Blair, a grandson of Parson Blair. Mr. Blair lived there until his death, and his daughter, Miss Ellen Blair, continued to make it her home.

(Rocket Werks RVA Postcards) — Hotel John Marshall

(Rocket Werks RVA Postcards) — Hotel John Marshall

She sold it in 1928, and it was demolished in that year to be the site of the John Marshall Hotel.

The Dunlop house, built at the same time as the Barret house and in the main very similar to it, had several marked differences. The front porch was heavier and there were no triple windows. The chimneys were placed toward the centre of the house instead of on the outer wall, a much less awkward plan.

[HOR] — showing the portico on the garden

[HOR] — showing the portico on the garden

The chief feature of the Dunlop house was the magnificent portico in the rear, with its great columns instead of the modest square pillars of the Barret house. Although the porch had two floors, the upper one was somewhat masked so that the effect was more like the Van Lew and Hayes-McCance houses than like those being built in the years just before the Dunlop house.

January 2020 — looking towards former 101 North Fifth Street, now The Residences at The John Marshall

January 2020 — looking towards former 101 North Fifth Street, now The Residences at The John Marshall

The portico of the Nolting house is evidently copied from this one. The Dunlop house was beautifully kept up, to the very end, and the pearl-grey stucco and white trim, the secluded garden surrounded by its high brick wall, and the tall portico made it a place of romance and beauty. [HOR]

(James Dunlop House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Note

  • A special shout-out goes to Ray Bonis of The Shockoe Examiner and VCU’s James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections & Archives fame. Ray hipped Rocket Werks to the fact that the Library of Congress had recently added digital copies of both the 1886 and 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Richmond, in addition to their well-known 1905 edition. Not only are these maps a gold mine for the researcher, used here for the first time, they are also gorgeous to behold. If looking at antiquated municipal street maps is your thing. It’s… not for everybody. Okay, move along!

Print Sources

  • [HOR] Houses of Old Richmond. Mary Wingfield Scott. 1941.

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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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Camera Lost Near Nickel Bridge

If I lost my camera I’d be a shattered wreck.

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Spotted on Reddit posted by u/mostplaces

i was swimming on the south side of the river near the nickel bridge when i had to leave quite suddenly to address an urgent phone call. in doing so, i left behind my mirrorless fuji (in a black bag with a small led flashlight). i went back to check a few hours later and it was gone.

i know it’s a long shot, but i figured i’d post here in case anyone saw it and snagged it or sees one for sale out in the world.

i lost my job because of covid so i have little to offer in terms of a reward, but that camera means a lot to me and i figured i should at least try and see if anyone picked it up.

thanks y’all, be safe in the heat

It appears they were just a little upriver from the bridge. If you happened to have picked up the camera please reach out to u/mostplaces on Reddit. I don’t know this person just feel bad for their loss.

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A Bangin’ BLT in Support of Food Justice

Hanover Tomato season is upon us let the BLTs commence.

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A tasty message from Salt & Forge and Salt N’ Vinegar.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. Hanover Tomato season! Salt & Forge are bringing you the Hanover Tomato BLT of your dreams, featuring Bangin’ Pimento Cheese from Soul N’ Vinegar plus extra thick-cut bacon, charred jalapeño mayonnaise, and butter lettuce on toasted country white bread from Albemarle Baking Company.

This year, Salt & Forge has partnered with Soul N’ Vinegar to support Richmond Food Justice Alliance. RFJA is a grassroots, resident-led organization advancing healthy food access by addressing historical inequalities that drive low food access in our communities.

For every BLT sold, Salt & Forge will donate $1 to the Richmond Food Justice Alliance to help support their work, improving food access in Richmond’s most vulnerable communities.

In order to ensure the highest donation possible to RFJA, the Hanover Tomato BLT is not available to order through third party delivery apps such as UberEats and GrubHub. “The focus is on local food, local businesses, local partnerships, and supporting local food alliances. We don’t want third party apps benefitting from this sandwich,” says owner David Hahn.

The special will last through the duration of the Hanover Tomato season, which varies every year dependent on weather and growing conditions. This is typically a 4-6 week window of time.

Salt & Forge serves up gourmet, hand-made sandwiches, salads, and breakfast at 312 N 2nd St in Richmond’s Historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. For more information, visit saltandforge.com.

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Crime

RPD investigating shootings into vehicle and residence on Monument Avenue

At approximately 11:15 p.m. Friday night, RPD officers were approached by a victim at Allen Avenue and Broad Street who stated someone had fired shots into their vehicle near the Circle following an altercation.

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At approximately 11:15 p.m. Friday night, RPD officers were approached by a victim at Allen Avenue and Broad Street who stated someone had fired shots into their vehicle near the Circle following an altercation.

Around the same time, officers received several calls for random gunfire near the Circle in the 1600 block of Monument Avenue. When officers arrived, one of the callers stated the glass door at their residence was shattered by reported gunfire.

“Gunfire and violent behavior is not peaceful, nonviolent protest; it is criminal, unacceptable, and will not be tolerated in our city,” said Chief Gerald M. Smith. “The City of Richmond will take all necessary steps to protect residents and visitors and preserve peace and public safety in our communities.”

Officers canvassed the area near the Circle recovering a rifle and magazines.

Detectives are currently investigating to determine if the incidents are related.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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