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RVA Legends — Charles D. Hill & Co.

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

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[IOR] — 1412-1416 East Cary Street
  • 1410-1416 East Cary Street

Another tobacco merchant in a town filled with them.

[RVCJ93] — Charles Watkins, who would later leave Hill, Skinker & Watkins to form his own Charles Watkins & Co. in 1882

[RVCJ93] — Charles Watkins, who would later leave Hill, Skinker & Watkins to form his own Charles Watkins & Co. in 1882

Grain, Leaf Tobacco, and General Commission Merchants. No firm in Richmond, either—in amount of business, extent of facilities, or excellence of location, surpasses that of Charles D. Hill & Company. Mr. Hill has lived in Richmond since 1857, and has since 1866, been connected with the leaf tobacco trade. In that year he organized the firm of Hill & Poteat, Leaf Tobacco Commission Merchants, and afterwards was, at various times, a member of Hill & Skinker, and Hill, Skinker & Watkins, both of which were noted in the tobacco trade.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 15 — showing Center Warehouse

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 15 — showing Center Warehouse

In 1882, he entered business alone, under the title at the head of this notice, the company being nominal. His place of business Centre Warehouse, is probably the largest in the city, and has a storage capacity for 3000 hogsheads of tobacco. From early in the Colonial History of Virginia, tobacco warehouses have played a prominent part in her social and business life, being the gathering place for Virginians, as the village was to the New Englanders. The planters only money crop was brought to them, and at the same place he received tobacco notes, the currency of the day. Here were the blacksmith’s shop and the tavern, and here too, if it was on a river, as was generally the case, came the ships from “home” England.

March 2020 — looking towards the former 1410-1416 East Cary Street — the tobacco storage building where the parking lot stands today, and Centre Warehouse across the alley in today’s parking lot

March 2020 — looking towards the former 1410-1416 East Cary Street — the tobacco storage building where the parking lot stands today, and Centre Warehouse across the alley in today’s parking lot

Though, of course, many of these features have changed, yet warehouses, and especially the massive built Centre, are objects of great interest, and are frequently visited by strangers, who look curiously at the “breaks.” There is a stable attached for teams hauling tobacco from the country. Besides leaf tobacco, the house does a very extensive grain and general commission business, and exports tobacco to England. Mr. Hill “has a business reputation second to none, and is widely known as an unsurpassed judge of the staples he handles. He is also engaged in the manufacture of the “Virginia Weed,” and is President of the Pemberton & Hill Company. [IOR]

(Charles D. Hill & Co. is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [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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Community

Buildings Damaged Tuesday Night, Arrests Made

No other reports of damage or injuries at this time.

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The John Marshall Courthouse, Wells Fargo building, Omni hotel, and a Starbucks were damaged last night.

Brent Solomon of NBC12 Tweeted photos of the damage.

The police released the following statement on arrests.

On Tuesday night a group of individuals broke windows and damaged and defaced property in several neighborhoods in the city of Richmond.

At approximately 11:50 p.m., officers detained several individuals. The Department consulted with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney on possible charges and charged four.

Julius Dela Cruz, Lakshmi Menon, Kyra Nguyen and Brian Quach were charged with rioting.

Several items, including a metal crowbar and a hammer were seized from the individuals.

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Arts & Entertainment

Institute for Contemporary Art and VPM launch community media center

Chioke I’Anson, an assistant professor of African American Studies at VCU, will serve as the center’s inaugural director of community media.

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The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, are creating a media center inside the ICA for the production of audio content by VCU students, local community members and VPM professionals.

The VPM+ICA Community Media Center will create new opportunities for storytelling, train and educate the next generation of audio producers, and amplify voices often missing from traditional media.

Under the leadership of Chioke I’Anson, Ph.D., inaugural director of community media, the center will launch this fall with community and student podcasting workshops, training sessions and a special performance — all of which are expected to begin virtually due to COVID-19. The VPM+ICA Community Media Center is slated to open in spring 2021.

l’Anson will serve as director of community media at the new VPM+ICA Community Media Center. (Photo by Amaya Zaslow)
l’Anson will serve as director of community media at the new VPM+ICA Community Media Center. (Photo by Amaya Zaslow)

“Over the past several years, we’ve witnessed the rise of podcasting as a new genre of narrative and documentary arts,” said Dominic Willsdon, executive director of the ICA. “With that in mind, the ICA — as an institution responsive to new currents in public culture — sought to partner with VPM and launch an initiative that supports audio storytelling by, for and about our communities, especially those that have suffered historical inequity. We plan to grow this over time to include audio, video and community media-making more broadly. Beginning in 2021, our new community media center will provide the space, tools and support for this.”

Through this innovative partnership, the ICA and VPM also will launch a multiyear educational and media-making program comprising VCU academic seminars, youth media programs and public seminars, workshops and symposia.

“The VPM+ICA Community Media Center is a unique opportunity for public media to play a role in engaging a new generation of diverse content makers,” said Jayme Swain, CEO of the Virginia Foundation for Public Media and president of VPM. “We are honored to partner with the ICA and Dr. I’Anson to provide a creative space for students and the community to learn how to harness the power of media to tell their stories.”

The ICA’s second-floor Murry DePillars Learning Lab will house the media center, complete with two recording booths and workspace for conceptualizing, editing and producing podcasts and other audio programs.

The project reflects the ICA’s continued engagement with VCU students and faculty to develop new ways of thinking about and utilizing its space, a precedent that’s been in place since the ICA’s conception and has actively shaped its building design and programming.

“Everyone in Richmond has a story that only they can tell, or a perspective only they can share,” said I’Anson, an assistant professor of African American Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU and underwriting announcer at NPR. “The VPM+ICA Community Media Center is the lab where anyone with something to say or a desire to create can get the technical skills to share their vision. The media center will be an arts and storytelling focal point, serving the city of Richmond and helping deliver its stories to the rest of the world.”

I’Anson will teach a podcasting seminar each semester for students in the Department of African American Studies and will work with a managing team comprising VCU students to plan and create a series of community events and youth programs.

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Arts & Entertainment

2nd Street Festival: A Virtual Celebration!

The 2nd Street Festival commemorates its 32nd anniversary October 3-4 with a virtual event celebrating downtown’s Jackson Ward community.

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The 2nd Street Festival commemorates its 32nd anniversary October 3-4 with a virtual event celebrating downtown’s Jackson Ward community. Venture Richmond Events will present new musical performances, favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, virtual tours, neighborhood testimonials, fun family activities, and so much more!

VIRTUAL EVENT DETAILS

Date: October 3-4, 2020

Ways to watch: Visit this webpage or the 2nd Street Festival Facebook page to livestream the event on Oct. 3-4

Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 from 6:00-7:15pm, and Sunday, Oct. 4 from 5:00-6:15pm

Featured Festival Artists & more!

This year’s virtual festival is a great opportunity for families to plan gatherings and watch parties at home in a safe, fun and responsible way! Here are a few of our featured artists.

Legacy Band: Saturday, October 3

Don’t miss this 2nd Street Festival performance by one of Richmond’s favorite bands playing top hits with a mix of soul, R&B, funk, gogo and jazz. The band was originally formed by guitarist Jose Pomier and vocalist Kaila Valdez.

Desirée Roots: Sunday, October 4

Known for showcasing her triple-threat talents of singing, acting and dancing, Desiree performs some of her favorite jazz selections for the 2nd Street Festival. A beloved Richmond performer who grew up in a musical family, Desiree is comfortable singing everything from opera to R&B, but her true favorites are classical, gospel and jazz.

Remembrance of Debo Dabney: Sunday, October 4

Listen in as local musicians and friends Plunky Branch, Glennroy Bailey, Desiree Roots and others share their reflections of Herbert A. Dabney, III, a dynamic and animated pianist who passed away earlier this year. Affectionately known as “Debo,” he was a beloved friend of the festival and an all-around fan favorite. His repertoire ranged from jazz, gospel, R&B, swing, blues and children’s classics. Debo performed for 31 of the festival’s 32 years.

Culinary Demos

Viewers should prepare their kitchens for culinary demonstrations by popular Jackson Ward restaurants Croaker’s Spot and Soul Taco, live-streamed directly into homes to capture the same delicious food that we’ve all come to expect from the 2nd Street Festival.

Kid’s Activity Corner

Families will enjoy Candice Smith with NBC12 News reading a book especially for children, a balloon twisting demonstration by festival favorite Eddie Cook with Balloons By Extreme, and a special activity by the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

A Spotlight on Jackson Ward

Gary Flowers of the Historic Jackson Ward Society will highlight community sites in the neighborhood for all to enjoy, and viewers will hear testimonials from longtime residents and business owners of the Jackson Ward neighborhood during the live stream event.

The 2020 Poster

This year’s official 2nd Street Festival poster was commissioned to Richmond native, Unicia Buster. Ms. Buster was a fine arts major in photography at Cornell University and she will design a quilt for the festival and use her graphic design skills to transform it into the official festival poster.

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