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“We Are Passing Through A Metamorphosis From The Old To The New.” Ashland, Bowling Green & Hopewell: A Virginia Newspaper Vanishing Act
The above quote is from the inaugural issue of the newly merged, freshly hyphenated Ashland Herald-Progress of 1919. The editor requests the reader’s forbearance as the paper negotiates the challenges of combining and reorganizing two staffs into one.
A happy and manageable transformation, and one, like so many other similar mergers of the early 20th century, that spoke to the promising business prospects of newspaper ownership in cities both large and small. A hundred years later however, media of more compelling and seductive charisma than the printed page have introduced an environment of less metamorphosis, more (apologies) metanophosis, as print newspapers are getting a quick nudge off the media bluff.
Last month Lakeway Publishers of Tennessee announced the closure of the Herald-Progress and the neighboring Caroline Progress of Caroline County. Prince George County’s Hopewell News, about the same distance from Richmond to the south, heard their exit music from Lancaster Management of Alabama back in January. That totals nearly three hundred years of publishing history brought to a conclusive finish.
While the Project’s purpose understandably keeps us fixed on the past, events of the present merit some attention as they suggest an acceleration to the demise of a business model of always anxious (the corporate word of choice) “viability”–the tandem of a double life, print and internet. If they haven’t yet faded, you may observe in these links a pair of web spirits confused and unhinged from time, the weather forecast still updating like a lone humming appliance in an abandoned house: http://www.carolineprogress.com/ http://www.herald-progress.com/
It’s not news that newsprint is on the clock. What may be new is the feeling that you can now see the second-hand moving. As events of interest occur, we’ll keep you updated with an emphasis on alterations in the Virginia print landscape. For now, it seems a proper … read more »
Maud ruins a new Easter suit, Uncle Sam feeds the chicks of prosperity, Easter bargains, poison-free Easter egg dye, a delightful Easter egg hunt, and Mrs. & Mr. Seldomgo go to church. . .Below are just a few results from doing an “Easter” search in Virginia Chronicle: … read more »
In 2017, a generous patron of the Library of Virginia donated several issues of the Patrician, the student newspaper of Richmond’s St. Patrick’s School. The issues added to the Library’s collection, published from 1946 to 1955, provide a glimpse of post-war life in Richmond through the lens of young writers. The papers also offer a unique historical record of one of Richmond’s treasured and bygone institutions, St. Patrick’s School.
On September 3, 1866, only a little over a year after the Civil War’s end, St. Patrick’s Female Academy opened its doors in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood. In a Daily Dispatch article, “Catholic Schools on Church Hill,” published November 12, 1866, the Dispatch reported three Catholic Schools in the area: the Academy of Visitation, the School of the Sisters of Charity and a school run by St. Patrick’s Church, which had seventy students. “At these schools,” it explained, “scholars who are unable to pay for tuition (whether they are Protestants or Catholics) are received free of pay.”
Initially St. Patrick’s was located in the 100 block of North 25th Street, but in 1914 James Fox & Son constructed a larger school and adjacent housing for the sisters at 26th and Grace Streets. Designed by distinguished Richmond architect Marcellus Eugene Wright, Sr., the Times Dispatch described the new St. Patrick’s Academy as “one of the most modern [buildings] in the city.” Wright designed several buildings of note in Virginia, including the Chamberlin Hotel in Hampton, the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, and the Hotel John Marshall, William Byrd Hotel and Altria (formerly the Mosque) Theatre in Richmond.
In 1922, St. … read more »
By C Johnson, Newspaper Project Intern
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we found a selection of the (very) broad ways that newspapers have chosen to acknowledge the feast day over the years.
The Weekly Register from Point Pleasant West Virginia published a poem, “The Shamrock,” in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on March 22, 1899. The next year, the Virginian-Pilot published “Oran Gailig (Exile’s Song).” Both poems speak about the love an Irishman has for his country, and the longing felt when far from home.
The debate about proposed “Home Rule” versus a continued union with Britain shows up in Virginia papers even on St. Patrick’s Day, as shown in these political cartoons.
The men in the Civilian Conservation Corp joined in the St. Patrick’s Day fun with themed covers for their camp newspapers, like this 1936 cover from Company 2344 in Big Stone Gap, Va.
It wouldn’t have been the 1960s without a gelatin recipe for every occasion, and the Highland Recorder did not disappoint, offering a recipe for “peppermint flavored, green tinted gelatin dotted with miniature marshmallows.” If that sounds odd, give it a chance- they’re “sweet as the music of the harp,” and fully leprechaun endorsed.
If gelatin isn’t your thing, maybe take inspiration from the small boys who decided to take dessert acquisition into their own hands, and stole all the ice cream from this 1922 Norfolk party. We recommend asking first, though.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the VNP!
In honor of George Washington’s 286th birthday, we thought we’d share some of the many front page renderings of the nation’s Founding Father drawn by men of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Nearly 100 CCC newspaper titles have been digitized and are available on Virginia Chronicle. The rest of the collection will be added soon: .… read more »
Just in case you caught yesterday’s depressing article in the RTD about Virginia’s own groundhog (warning, it’s sad) and his tragic demise, we thought we’d share some sunnier stories on the forecaster of spring’s arrival. We searched “Groundhog Day” in Virginia Chronicle, and here’s a sampling of what we found:
By Claire Johnson, Newspaper Project Intern
In the late spring of 1907, forty-two years after the end of the Civil War, Richmond was flooded with veterans and tourists for a 5 day celebration of the city’s two newest Confederate monuments and the seventeenth reunion of the United Confederate Veterans.
First, on May 30, the equestrian statue of J.E.B. Stuart was unveiled by his eight year old grand-daughter, Virginia Stuart Waller. The following Monday, June 3, on what would have been his 99th birthday, the monument to the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was dedicated.
The white press gave huge amounts of space in their papers to the monuments and the Confederate reunion. The Times Dispatch went to great lengths to impress upon its readers the majesty and importance of the days events:
“In the presence of a great multitude of people, and beneath cloudless skies, with the thunder of cannon, the waving of flags, the singing of children and the playing of bands, the equestrian statue of Major-General J. E. B. Stuart was unveiled yesterday by a granddaughter of the world-famous cavalry leader. . .The exercises of the monument were preceded by one of the most notable parades ever seen in Richmond, in which nearly 10,000 men participated, the column taking over an hour to pass a given point.”
The “Grand Parade” was a long one. It began downtown at Capitol Square and moved to the site of the J.E.B. Stuart monument (nearly two miles away), at Monument Avenue and Lombardy Street, then went nearly two more miles to Hollywood Cemetery, adjacent to Richmond’s Oregon Hill neighborhood, to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers buried there.
By Claire Johnson, Newspaper Project Intern
Merry Christmas from the VNP!
The holiday season has long meant family gatherings and a a full social schedule. Women of early twentieth century Richmond who wanted to make sure their parties, menus, and wardrobes were current and stylish had to look no further than the women’s pages of their newspaper. There they could find decorating tips, menu suggestions, fashion advice, and etiquette help to make sure their holiday parties went off without a hitch.
In celebration of this holiday season, join us on a visual tour of the fads of Christmas past.
From The Times, December 1901
From The Dispatch, December 1901
From The Dispatch, January 1902
Richmond Times-Dispatch December 14, 1919
First, a quick note that the Library’s Out of the Box and Fit to Print blogs will be joining forces under one name in the new year, so look for the new blog in 2018! Archived entries from both blogs will continue to be available. Stay tuned. . .
The Virginia Newspaper Project is delighted to announce digitized copies of Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal, a daily published by John Hampden Pleasants and Josiah Abbot from 1831-1832, are now available on Virginia Chronicle.
Thanks to a partnership with the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, which generously shared its collection with the Library of Virginia, the digitized issues on Virginia Chronicle represent a nearly complete run of Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal. This title is one among many in the Whig family of newspapers published in Richmond during the nineteenth century.
John Pleasants, born in Goochland and educated at William and Mary, practiced law before becoming a newspaper publisher. He began printing the Whig in 1824 in response to the Democratic Richmond Enquirer, published by Thomas Ritchie. The political and personal discord between the two editors became so intense it culminated in a duel on Feb. 27, 1846. Pleasant’s eventually died, at age 49, from wounds he suffered in the brutal encounter, but the Whig carried on in his absence.
Initially, the Whig was published semiweekly as the Constitutional Whig, until the name changed to the Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser in 1833. A daily edition of the paper commenced in 1828 as the Daily Richmond Whig. The name changed to the Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal from 1831-1832, and then changed again to the Daily Richmond Whig & Public Advertiser. If you’re not confused … read more »
By Claire Johnson, Newspaper Project Intern
For young women at the turn of the century, Halloween presented an opportunity to glimpse into the future and see the face of their husband-to-be by completing one of several complex rituals. The Richmond Dispatch on October 31, 1897 described one such ritual, performed at or near midnight on Halloween. Wearing her hair loose down her back and barefoot, the curious young woman must light a candle, and descend down her basement stairs backwards. As she walks, she repeats a stanza from Robert Burns’ 1743 poem, “Green Grow the Rashes:” “Auld Nature swears the lovely dears, Her noblest work she classes, O: Her ‘prentice han’ she tried on man, And then she made the lasses, O!”At the bottom of the steps, after turning around twice and taking ten steps, she looks over her shoulder into a mirror. If she is going to be married, she will see the reflection of her husband in the mirror.
The same article explained the soothsaying powers of “ducking for apples.” The instructions begin in a familiar way for those of us who bobbed for apples at harvest festivals or Halloween parties as children: fill a vessel with water and add apples, then close your eyes, lean in, and try to get one. Here, 19th century ducking for apples diverges from the modern incarnation of the game. According to the superstition, those who successfully picked up an apple with their teeth three times in five minutes would dream of their future spouse that night.