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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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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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Blanchard’s Coffee Opening on Wednesday

If the postcard delivered on Tuesday can be believed they’re opening tomorrow on Wednesday.

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The first business in the Hill Standard (everyone calls the Veil Brewing spot) development is supposedly opening tomorrow, Wednesday, November 28th. Although as of 3:10 PM on Tuesday they’re website and they’re Facebook make no mention of the opening or the hours. The Facebook page’s last post was in December of 2019 so don’t go there hoping for up to date information.  For reference, the Blanchard’s on Broad is open at 8 AM Monday, Saturday and Sunday. On Tuesday through Friday, they’re open at 7 AM.

Above and below are the photos of the postcard we got in the mail. Good luck coffee drinkers.

 

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Richmond BizSense.com reporting that Billy Pie is Coming to Basic City Beer Co.

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Basic City Beer Co. in Manchester has some delicious news to announce, pizza. You might be familiar with Billy Pie if you ever grabbed a pizza at Triple Crossing or hit up their spot on Patterson. Owner of Billy Pie, Bill Fallen hopes to have pizza ready to go in a few weeks.

From Richmond BizSense.com:

Fallen eventually linked up with Basic City owner Bart Lanman over the summer. Lanman was already familiar with Fallen’s work and, before long, the two struck a deal for Fallen to open a location in Basic City’s Waynesboro location.

“In our growth plans, the idea has always been to make things as good as we can, or better. This was a step in the ‘or better’ direction,” Lanman said. “To have gone to Triple Crossing a bunch of times and had the pizza that’s high quality and well-executed, I knew it’s a perfect fit for us.”

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Arrest Made in Jahnke Road Food Lion Shooting

At approximately 11:57 a.m. on September 21, officers responded to the parking lot of the Food Lion grocery store in the 6400 block of Jahnke Road for the report of a person shot.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives have made an arrest in a shooting that happened on Jahnke Road last month.

Jermanny Hernandez turned himself in to detectives yesterday. He is charged with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. His booking photo is attached.

At approximately 11:57 a.m. on September 21, officers responded to the parking lot of the Food Lion grocery store in the 6400 block of Jahnke Road for the report of a person shot. An adult male with a gunshot wound was located and transported to a local hospital with an injury that was considered life threatening.

“We would like to thank the public and our media partners for their assistance in sharing the information related to Mr. Hernandez,” said Major Crimes Captain James Laino.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to call Major Crimes Detective O. Reyes at (804) 646-3874 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

 

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