Monthly Archives: January 2017

Forged in Print: The Shenandoah Iron Works’ Riverside

masthead“Who hath despised the day of small things?” read the motto of the Riverside, a company newspaper published in Shenandoah Iron Works (SIW), located in Page County, Virginia. To be sure, even the small things were important in what was then a remote and rustic company town, including a simple, little newspaper printed monthly for the people who lived in and worked for Shenandoah Iron Works.

Rockingham Register Dec. 8, 1881

Excerpt from an article on the history of the Shenandoah Iron Works, from the Rockingham Register, Dec. 8, 1881, available digitally on access.newspaperarchive.com

Thanks to a cooperative partnership with the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California, the Library of Virginia has one issue of the very rare Riverside available in its Virginia Chronicle database, which now contains over 900,000 digitized newspaper pages.

Shenandoah Furnace was built in 1836, though what ultimately became the Shenandoah Iron Works was conceived after brothers Daniel and Henry Forrer purchased 34,483 acres of land from Samuel Gibbens in 1837. Soon after acquiring the land, the Brothers established a post office and named the town Shenandoah Iron Works.  Two more furnaces, Catherine and No. 2, as well as a forge, were added to the iron works where pig iron and tools were produced.

After the Civil War, the Forrer brothers, financially scarred by the devaluation of Confederate currency, sold the operation to a group of Pennsylvania industrialists. “The scale of its operations as measured in the production of pig iron, blooms, iron manufacturers and numbers of employees made Shenandoah one of the foremost industrial establishments in the northern and central Shenandoah Valley,” wrote Charles Ballard in his history of the SIW, “This industry and the community clustered around it evolved from an antebellum iron plantation into a postbellum company town.(The Shenandoah Iron Works, 1836-1907, p.1)”

SIW reached … read more »

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Happy New Year from the VNP!

Rooster 2The Virginia Newspaper Project hopes everyone had a happy New Year.

The end of January 2017 marks the beginning of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac. To celebrate, we searched Virginia Chronicle for rooster-related stories and images–below is a sampling of what we found. It includes how a rooster saved the day for one little boy.

CC 13 Oct 1909

Clarke Courier, October 13, 1909

CC 13 Oct 1909 (1)

Clarke Courier Rooster article, continued.

Daily Press 22 Dec. 1907

Daily Press, December 22, 1907

TD 25 Aug 1908

Times Dispatch, August 25, 1908

RP 7 April 1906

Richmond Planet, April 7, 1906

RP 11 June 1904

Richmond Planet, June 11, 1904

AG 22 July 1908

Alexandria Gazette, July 22, 1908

TD 9 Aug 1903

Times Dispatch, August 9, 1903

Tazewell Republican 25 Nov 1909

Tazewell Republican, November 25, 1909

RP Nov 7 1896 (1)

Richmond Planet, November 7, 1896

RP 16 Jan 1904

Richmond Planet, January 16, 1904

FH 22 Mar 1901

Farmville Herald, March 22, 1901

Appomattox and Buckingham Times 3 Oct 1906

Appomattox and Buckingham Times, October 3, 1906

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