What Richmond, VA, looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

At the turn of the 20th century, the population of Richmond had reached 85,050, making it the most densely populated city in the Southern United States. Slave-freed African Americans established a thriving business community in the city’s historic Jackson Ward, which became known as the “Wall Street of Black America”. In 1903 African American businesswoman and financier Maggie L. Walker chartered St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and served as its first president.

The former city of Manchester merged with the city of Richmond in 1910. Henrico County’s Barton Heights, Ginter Park, and Highland Park areas were also annexed to the city in 1914. Richmond became the headquarters of the Fifth District of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1914. After World War I ended, Philip Morris was established in the city in 1919. During the 1920s, the Fan district also began to develop. During the early 20th century, Jake Wells built several vaudeville theaters and opera houses in Richmond.

These fascinating historical photos will take you back to Richmond, Virginia, in the 1900s.

#3 Gamble’s [i.e. Gamble] Hill Park, Richmond, 1908

#23 Watts Hall, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, 1908

#27 Gamble Hill Park and Pratt’s Castle, Richmond, 1908

#35 St. John’s Church, interior, from Patrick Henry’s pew, Richmond, 1901.

#48 Sixth Street Market (typical vegetable men), Richmond, 1908

#49 Mail carrier and six other men posed standing at entrance to shop. S.J. Gilpin shoe store, Richmond, 1900

#51 St. John’s Church. Richmond, Virginia, D. H. Anderson (American, born 1827), 1907

#56 Virginia State Library, capitol’s grounds, Richmond, 1908

#57 Main dining room, Murphy’s Hotel, Richmond, 1909

#58 Washington Monument and the capitol, Richmond, 1901

#59 Confederate Museum (Jefferson Davis’s house), Richmond, 1901.

#64 Confederate White House, home of Jefferson Davis in Richmond, 1904

#65 Jefferson Davis plot, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, 1904

#66 Home of Chief Justice John Marshall, Richmond, 1905

#68 Residence of Gen. Robert E. Lee, 1861-1865, Richmond, 1905.

#70 Monument to Confederate dead, Hollywood, Richmond, 1905.

#73 Washington Monument and City Hall, Richmond, 1905

#77 Jefferson Davis house [i.e. Confederate Museum], Richmond, 1905.

#78 John Smith Memorial, Gamble Hill Park, Richmond, 1907

#79 Equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, Richmond, 1908

#83 Richmond College (University of Richmond), Richmond, 1909

#84 Japanese palm garden, Jefferson hotel, Richmond, 1909

#86 Jefferson Davis mansion (Confederate Museum), Richmond, Virginia, 1905

#89 Tomb of Jefferson Davis, Hollywood [Cemetery], Richmond, 1905.

#91 Statue of Major General J.E.B. Stuart, Richmond, 1909

#95 Japanese palm garden, Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, 1908

#97 Lobby and grand staircase, Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, 1908

#98 Belle Isle and the James River Falls, Richmond, 1908

#99 R.E. Lee camp, Confederates’ [i.e. Confederate Soldiers’] Home, Richmond, 1908

#100 Washington memorial, Capitol park [i.e. Capitol Square], Richmond, 1908

#101 Confederate Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Libby Hill [Park], Richmond, 1908

#106 A trotting horse with cart and driver race past the spectators at Richmond Horse Show, 1900

#107 Workers in Press room, Richmond & Backus Company Print Shop, 1902

#108 African American Women and Men near Machinery at Lexington Laundry, Richmond, 1900

#110 The Arsenal Grounds, near the Petersburgh R.R. Bridge, Richmond, 1907

#111 View on the Lynchburgh Canal, near the Haxall Flour Mills, Richmond, 1900

#112 Mr John Jones driving Cherry Boys at the Richmond, 14th June 1907.

#113 Confederate Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Libby Hill Park, Richmond, Virginia, 1908

#114 The ruins of Richmond Great House after Soufriere erupted in 1902 – Saint Vincent, Richmond Great House in St. Vincent was destroyed and buried in volcanic dust and ash when Soufriere erupted on May 8th 1902

#115 The ruins of Richmond Great House after Soufriere erupted in 1902

#116 African, Americans, mostly women, sorting tobacco at the T.C. Williams & Co., tobacco, Richmond, Virginia, 1900

#117 Hollywood, Tomb of U.S. President James Monroe, Richmond, Virginia, 1905

#118 Two women and a man pose atop Gibraltar Rock in Richmond Memorial Park, which was dedicated by Jens Jensen and the Wisconsin Friends in 1927 in order to conserve the native landscape, West Point, Wisconsin, 1902.

#119 View of the Monument to Confederate War Dead located in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, 1902.

#120 Sixth Street market, Richmond, Va African-American vendors and farm produce–melons, corn and squash, 1908

#121 Man Working in Window and Man Standing in Doorway, EJ Crane Watchmaker and Jewelry Store, Richmond, Virginia, 1900

#122 Press Room, Planet Newspaper, Richmond, Virginia, 1900

#123 People posed on porch of and in the Planet newspaper publishing house, Richmond, Virginia, 1900

#124 African American Watchmaker & Jewelers store, 1900

#125 Main Street in Richmond, Virginia before the age of Bank Bailouts. Public Transportation Dominates the street with very little vehicular traffic besides. Many of the Buildings are cast iron, 1900

#126 Ex-Service Men Make King’s Jubilee Emplems, 1900

#127 House in which Stonewall Jackson died, Richmond, Virginia, 1900.

#129 Jules Gautier, manacled in the Thames, tows a boat from Mortlake to Putney, 1909

#130 The pleasure steamer, the ‘Queen Elizabeth’, coming up the River Thames from Kingston Bridge to Hampton Court, seen from the towpath, 1907

#131 Rowers relax on the River Thames between Teddington and Surbiton, 1905

#132 Coronation trumpeters at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, Twickenham, 1905

#133 Boats moored on the River Thames at Hampton Court Palace, 1900

#134 Competitors line up for the start of the Richmond to Blackfriars swimming race, 1907

#135 A young woman competes in a gymkhana for bicycle riders at Richmond, 1905

#136 Tomb of James Monroe, declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia, 1905.

#137 View of an equestrian statue of General Robert E Lee (sculpted by Antonin Mercie, from an illustration by Adalbert Volck), Richmond, Virginia, 1905.

#139 Washington’s old headquarters, Richmond, 1905.

Washington's old headquarters, Richmond, 1905.

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#141 Broad Street, lined with school children applauding President Roosevelt, Richmond, 1905

Broad Street, lined with school children applauding President Roosevelt, Richmond, 1905

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#142 President Roosevelt praising the courage of the South in war and peace, Richmond, 1905

President Roosevelt praising the courage of the South in war and peace, Richmond, 1905

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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