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RVA Legends — Weisiger & Tiffany

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

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[IOR]
  • 3 Governor Street
  • Built, between 1865-1877
  • Demolished, 1989?

Call the police! We’ve been robbed!

[IOR] — Captain Oscar Fitzallen Weisiger

[IOR] — Captain Oscar Fitzallen Weisiger

Wholesale Clothiers. Forty years ago this house was founded by the late O. F. Weisiger, since which period the firm name has changed several times. In 1886 the firm of O. F. Weisiger & Co., has dissolved by the death of the senior partner.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 15 — showing Whol(sale) Clo(thiers)

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 15 — showing Whol(sale) Clo(thiers)

Messrs. W. H. Weisiger, son of the founder, and D. O. Tiffany, the surviving partners, then formed a co-partnership under the firm name of Weisiger & Tiffany. Mr. Weisiger was born and raised here, has always been in this line, and manages the business in this city, Mr. Tiffany attending to the manufacturing.

They employ seven commercial salesmen, and sell goods to the trade throughout the Yireinias, Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia. [IOR]

(Alamy) — 19th century engraving of a burglar escaping down a ladder after breaking into a home

(Alamy) — 19th-century engraving of a burglar escaping down a ladder after breaking into a home

They also had the misfortune of being Richmond Dispatch front-page news in June 1886 for a robbery of the store.

A colored woman named Sarah Butcher was before the Police Court yesterday morning, charged with unlawfully and feloniously breaking and entering in the night-time the store of Weisiger & Tiffany, successors to O. F. Weisiger & Co., with intent to commit larceny, and stealing therefrom clothing of the value of $75.

A private watchman is employed by this firm, but he was taken suddenly sick about 9 o’clock Sunday night, and went home after getting another watchman who stays in that neighborhood to promise to keep a lookout for him during his absence. It is supposed that the house was broken into soon after this time and was open from then until morning. [RDIS]

(City of Richmond) — Chief John Poe, Jr. — Richmond’s first police chief

(City of Richmond) — Chief John Poe, Jr. — Richmond’s first police chief

Broken glass and a ladder found in Tobacco Alley and pointed to a second-story job. The crime scene was surveyed personally by Chief of Police John Poe, Jr., who turned the case over to a Sergeant Hall, once the financial contents of the two iron safes were determined to be untouched. The Sergeant was not long in apprehending Ms. Butcher, and was soon in hot in pursuit of D. Delerue, Bill Coleman, and Moses Bowles, “suspected of being connected with the robbery.” [RDIS]

[MCR]-(Library of Congress) — composite image of the Centinnial Map of the City of Richmond & the Beers Illustrated Atlas of Richmond, Plate L — showing the comparative locations of 3 Governor Street in 1865 & 1877.

[MCR]-(Library of Congress) — composite image of the Centennial Map of the City of Richmond & the Beers Illustrated Atlas of Richmond, Plate L — showing the comparative locations of 3 Governor Street in 1865 & 1877.

Number 3 Governor Street was located at the edge of the Burnt District of 1865, so whatever stood there before April of that year was another casualty of the Evacuation Fire, Richmond’s favorite cautionary tale about intentional arson. What would become the Weisiger & Tiffany Building was built in the flurry of construction that followed the end of the Civil War.

April 2020 — looking towards the former Weisiger & Tiffany Building location at center-left

April 2020 — looking towards the former Weisiger & Tiffany Building location at center-left

Today, the entire block between Main, Bank, Governor, and Fourteenth Streets is dominated by the Commonwealth’s own John Tyler Building, constructed between 1989-1991.

(Weisiger & Tiffany is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [MCR] Map of the City of Richmond, Virginia, 1861-65. Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee. 1961.
  • [RDIS] Richmond Dispatch. Saturday, June 19, 1886.

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VDH launches first of its kind contact tracing app to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Virginia is the first state in the country to design a COVID-19 app using Bluetooth Low Energy technology developed by Apple and Google, which does not rely on personal information or location data. Users opt-in to download and utilize the free app.

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Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday announced the launch of COVIDWISE, an innovative exposure notification app that will alert users if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virginia is the first state in the country to design a COVID-19 app using Bluetooth Low Energy technology developed by Apple and Google, which does not rely on personal information or location data. Users opt-in to download and utilize the free app.

“We must continue to fight COVID-19 from every possible angle,” Governor Northam said in a news release. “The COVIDWISE exposure notification app gives you an additional tool to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community while maintaining your personal privacy. I encourage all Virginians to download and use this app, so we can work together to contain this virus.”

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) developed COVIDWISE in partnership with Spring ML using funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The free app is available to download through the App Store and the Google Play Store. COVIDWISE is the only app in Virginia allowed to use the exposure notifications system (ENS) application programming interface (API) jointly created by Apple and Google. Other countries, including Ireland and Germany, have successfully used this technology in similar apps.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to be identified across the Commonwealth, it is important for people to know whether they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the disease,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “COVIDWISE will notify you if you’ve likely been exposed to another app user who anonymously shared a positive COVID-19 test result. Knowing your exposure history allows you to self-quarantine effectively, seek timely medical attention, and reduce potential exposure risk. The more Virginians use COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that you will receive timely exposure notifications that lead to effective disease prevention.”

COVIDWISE works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10 to 20 minutes. iOS and Android devices that have the app installed will anonymously share these random keys if they are within close proximity for at least 15 minutes. Each day, the device downloads a list of all random keys associated with positive COVID-19 results submitted by other app users and checks them against the list of random keys it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there is a match, COVIDWISE may notify the individual, taking into account the date and duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength which is used to estimate proximity.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be notified by a VDH case investigator and will be given a unique numeric code. This code is entered into the app by the user and serves as verification of a positive report. Others who have downloaded COVIDWISE and have been in close proximity to the individual who reported as being positive will receive a notice which reads, “You have likely been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.” This is your alert to get tested.

The notice includes the estimated number of days since the exposure and provides several options for taking further action, including contacting a primary care physician or local health department, monitoring symptoms, and finding nearby test locations. The Virtual VDH tab within the app also provides links to online resources and relevant phone numbers.

Anyone who downloads the app has the option to choose to receive exposure notifications, and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to share their result anonymously through COVIDWISE. No location data or personal information is ever collected, stored, tracked, or transmitted to VDH as part of the app. Users have the ability to delete the app or turn off exposure notifications at any time.

Officials say widespread use is critical to the success of this effort, and VDH is launching a robust, statewide public information campaign to make sure Virginians are aware of the COVIDWISE app, its privacy protection features, and how it can be used to support public health and help reduce the spread of the virus.

To learn more about COVIDWISE and download the app, visit www.covidwise.org.

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Step into the past with Wickham House Virtual Tour

The Wickham House is currently closed due to the pandemic but you can still get a peek inside.

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The Valentine knows that getting out and about in the current situation isn’t ideal and in some cases completely impossible. To help the learning continue they’ve just launched a virtual tour of the Wickham House.

The Wickham House from the courtyard

The Wickham House sits at 1015 E. Clay Street and was completed in 1812. The Wickham House property once took up a whole city block. In 1882 it was purchased by Mann Valentine II, who filled the house with artifacts and then bequeathed them and the house for the establishment of a museum.

Welcome to the Wickham House, a National Historic Landmark and the Valentine museum’s largest object. This historic home allows us to tell the complicated story of the Wickham family, the home’s enslaved occupants, sharing spaces, the realities of urban slavery and more. While the Wickham House is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope you will enjoy this sneak peek virtual tour of the historic home.

The tour focuses on the Wickham family, the home’s enslaves inhabitants, the realities of urban slavery, sharing these spaces and more.

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City of Richmond government offices closed Tuesday due to impacts from Isaias

Due to the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias in the Central Virginia region, City of Richmond government offices will be closed Tuesday, August 4th, with only essential employees reporting, the city announced late Monday night.

RVAHub Staff

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Due to the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias in the Central Virginia region, City of Richmond government offices will be closed Tuesday, August 4th, with only essential employees reporting, the city announced late Monday night.

Essential city services will continue.

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