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Hills & Heights

Must-See RVA! — Archibald Freeland House

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

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March 2020
  • 1015 Bainbridge Street
    Built, circa 1770

A grand Colonial house in the heart of Old Manchester, and one of the oldest in the city.

(The Valentine) — John Murchie, a founding father of Manchester — oil on canvas, John Durand — 1780s

(The Valentine) — John Murchie, a founding father of Manchester — oil on canvas, John Durand — 1780s

Whether this handsome house was built by Archibald Freeland or before he owned the property, it is thus far impossible to say. We know that he bought the lot, then numbered 133, from John Murchie in or before 1805, but the deed was in the records of the Richmond District Court, which were burned in the Evacuation Fire. That the house was by no means new in 1805 is evident from the first insurance policy, taken out by Freeland in that year. The four buildings-house, kitchen, stable, and smokehouse—are valued at $8900, a depreciation of $500 being allowed, which would suggest that they were at least five years old.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 33 — showing property in 1886, including a Shanty, an Old Shanty, and Well

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 33 — showing property in 1886, including a Shanty, an Old Shanty, and Well

Archibald Freeland, ancestor of many Virginians of today, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1757. Emigrating to Virginia about 1780, he owned tobacco warehouses at Warwick, one of which was burned by Benedict Arnold. He was in the tobacco exporting business and also invested heavily in lands both in Chesterfield County and in Kentucky. His affairs became involved, and in 1819 he mortgaged his house to his son-in-law, James Scott, of whom we shall hear again in connection with the house he built long afterwards on Fifth Street. Meanwhile Scott lived in the Freeland or Murchie house.

(Elks History Project) — 1907 postcard for the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks

(Elks History Project) — 1907 postcard for the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks

In 1853 he sold it to the trustee for Mrs. S. S. Walke. It was owned by the Walkes down to 1889. In 1907 it was purchased by Manchester Lodge Number 843 of the B. P. O. E. and was an Elks’ Club for nearly thirty years. In 1938 its present owner acquired for $3100 the only mansion still standing in Richmond on the south side of the James River.

March 2020

March 2020

An exterior view of this house is deceptive, since it has been spoiled by the long veranda and by the large panes of glass in the windows. The outbuildings are all gone; so is the balustrade around the top. Its location on an eminence and the proportions are all that suggest how handsome it could easily be made.

March 2020 — showing curious keystones

March 2020 — showing curious keystones

The windows on the Eleventh Street side have curious keystones, made of bricks set in relief and not covered with plaster. Inside, one is much more immediately impressed. The staircase is a very unusual one, with a low-swung curve quite different from the long curve of the Wickham house stair, but no less beautiful, though the balusters and newel post seem to have been changed in Victorian times. The small room to the right of the door seems an afterthought also.

(Google Arts & Culture) — Archibald Freeland House, between 1910 - 1930 — Cook Photograph Collection, The Valentine

(Google Arts & Culture) — Archibald Freeland House, between 1910 – 1930 — Cook Photograph Collection, The Valentine

The most magnificent feature is the paneling in the rooms to the left of the entrance, which extends across that end of the building and can be compared only with that of the Marshall house. The back room originally extended all the way across the back of the house. A graceful arch between the two halves has recently been filled in. All the doors, practically, are of the six-panel “witches’ door” type. The mantels are varied and interesting, three having a curious pattern that looks like the “shelf-paper” formerly used for kitchens and pantries. In spite of some alterations necessary to make it into a two-family dwelling, the interior on the whole is well preserved and in fairly good condition. [HOR]

March 2020 — showing veranda detail

March 2020 — showing veranda detail

Today the house still sits on the same sun-drenched corner, right next to the old Baptist church. It’s looking a little old in spots, but so would you if you were 250 years old.

Architecture Richmond has a nice write-up on this house with additional history and pictures. Not to be missed!

(Archibald Freeland House is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

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

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Richmond Animal Care and Control Looking for Information on Dog Found in Dumpster

The dog was found in a dumpster at the Residences at Westover Hills (5852 Westower Drive). If you have an information please call 647-5573 or email [email protected]

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From RACC Facebook:

We just don’t know what to say about this one. Swear words want to come out first…followed by tears…then back to bigger swear words. 😡😭😡 This sweet dog was found in this dumpster at the Residences at Westover Hills. No joke. Citizens saw him and called our team. Officer Jones removed him from the dumpster and took him straight to Virginia Veterinary Centers.

We named him Blue Skies. 🌼 He’s 10 months old and was in terrible shape; starved, covered in feces, with open wounds on his body-our RACC Medical Pics closed group shows more (if you can handle graphic). We need your help finding the person responsible for his suffering. Please call 647-5573 or email [email protected] with information. Our hearts are breaking over the sweet spirit of this dog that deserves a chance at a better life. 💔 Please share-plus he will need a home-email if you can help with that too. 💕 #weareyourcityshelter #throwninthetrash #HelpUsHelpHim #ijustcantanymore

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Sacred Heart Center Needs Help Filling Up their Food Bank

The Food Bank, in partnership with Bainbridge Community Ministries and Sacred Heart Parish has been able to provide food to 750 community members affected by this crisis.

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Sacred Heart Center at  1400 Perry Street runs a food bank and donations are not keeping up with current demand. You can donate items directly (contactless) on Tuesdays and Thursdays or make a donation online.
A message from Sacred Heart Center.

Dear Sacred Heart Center Friends and Family,

While Sacred Heart Center continues to implement our educational programs remotely for our community, we are currently accepting food donations to support our families during this critical time.

Due to the great need that our families experience, demonstrated in the number of people served each time we open the food bank (more than 150 people per day,) through our Food Bank, in partnership with Bainbridge Community Ministries and Sacred Heart Parish, we have been able to provide food to 750 community members affected by this crisis.

We will be accepting food donations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Donations can be dropped off at the side of our main building, located at 1400 Perry Street. Please drive into Sacred Heart’s parking lot and pull up to the designated parking spot located next to the first door on the left.

Please stay in your vehicle and someone will come to accept your donations.

If you would like to help replenish our food pantry, but are unable to come to the SHC, please consider donating online so that we can continue to support our community at this time.

We are accepting all food items while also strongly asking for foods that our community consumes:

  • Corn flour
  • Tortillas
  • Dried or canned beans
  • Rice
  • Baby formula
  • Snacks for small children
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Sugar
  • Tuna
  • Canned Fruit
  • Powdered Milk
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Tea & Coffee
  • Cooking oils

    Other items we are accepting:

  • Personal Care Products (Deodorants, lotions, dental care, hair care, shaving needs, laundry detergent)
  • Diapers (any size)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Latex gloves
  • Paper & Plastic bags to distribute food
  • Cardboard Boxes to distribute food
  • Lysol/Clorox wipes
  • Large size diapers (size 4-6)

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about volunteering for our Curbside Food Bank,  please do not hesitate to ask:

 [email protected].

If you are in a position to give back to the community, please join us!

To stay up to date on available community resources, please visit our website at: www.shcrichmond.org/en/links We will continue to add more information as it becomes available.

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Richmond BizSense Reporting: T-Mobile is Hanging Up on Stony Point Fashion Park

Another national chain has left the Southside mall.

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From Richmond BizSense.com

The wireless carrier permanently shuttered its store at the Southside mall in late December. A company spokeswoman didn’t specify what motivated the decision.

“We have a number of stores in this area within just a few miles, so as part of our normal course of business we closed this store on Dec. 27, 2020,” the T-Mobile spokeswoman said in an email last week.

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