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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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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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Community

Historic Slave Trail at Ancarrow’s Landing Closed for Bridge Work

The closure is to work on bridges.

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From RVA Trail Report

The Historic Slave Trail at Ancarrow’s Landing will be temporarily closed while the Trail Crew rebuilds the three worn bridges along the river. Please follow the detour signs during this time.

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Community

Pipeline Update Work Continues

The hope is that work will finish up at the end of this month. Work is taking longer than expected.

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From RVAH20:

Our work continues! It’s progressing! And it’s slower than we thought it was going to be.

Our team is doing detailed, meticulous work with an abundance of care, and doing it right! They’ve also faced some less-than-ideal weather and river levels that were too high.

Our crew is essentially papier-mâché-ing a 43.13″ diameter elevated pipe located in the James River (one of our more tricky, but also more beautiful, work locations) with layers on layers of mesh and more mesh and different sized mesh and epoxy. Before all that, our crews clean each pipe segment with acetone wipes to allow for excellent adherence.

Most importantly, we are SO sorry for the delayed repair process at Pipeline–we know no one likes an elongated trail closure, but we can’t rush this important work.

We appreciate your patience as we complete these repairs to protect the James River and your health and safety when you visit this spot so many of us favor!
The latest we heard was a hope that repairs would be complete by the end of this month. We will keep you updated as we move toward that end-of-October target!
Following the completion of the repairs, our team will once again CCTV (closed-circuit television) the pipe to get an internal look. Only after we check our work and give it the green light will the trail and beaches alongside it be reopened. Until then, Pipeline trail and its adjacent beaches are closed from Brown’s Island (under the 9th Street bridge) to the downstream, eastern end of the trail behind Virginia Street and Vistas On The James.
And, finally, an important reminder: all wastewater flows have been diverted upstream at Tredegar, so any flow you may see leaking at Pipeline currently is river water that’s seeping in from Haxall Canal, groundwater, and/or stormwater from rainfall.

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Downtown

Carmela’s Turning Off Pizza Ovens for Good

Carmela has been serving up pizza in Shockoe Bottom for the past three years.

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Posted to Facebook yesterday:

To our dearest customers, after careful consideration, we have decided to close our doors. We like to express our deepest gratitude to you all for your support and love for Carmela’s pizza over the past 3 years!
We like to thank our whole Carmela’s team, past and present. We’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished together and couldn’t have done it without your talent and great effort of everyone involved!!
We’re just incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have opened such a beautiful pizzeria. This may not be a goodbye forever, but for now, it’s the right choice for our family.
Thank you again for the sweet memories and for allowing us to serve you RVALots of love,
Victor & Melinda
Carmela’s
Carmela’s was located on 3 N 17th Street.

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