Tag Archives: T

Tantilla Garden Poster Collection

C1: 158
1938–1969
27 posters, 10 x 28 inches to 29 x 45 inches 


C1:158  Tantilla Garden Poster Collection

Billed as “the South’s most beautiful ballroom, cooled by nature’s breezes,” the whimsically named Tantilla Garden opened in the 3800 block of Richmond’s West Broad Street in 1931. On the ground level was a miniature golf range (at some point converted to Tiny Town Bowling Alley). The dance hall opened later on the upper level. Ironically, the inclusive dates of Virginia’s prohibition of “liquor by the drink” (1933–1968) coincide almost precisely with Tantilla’s dates of operation. Patrons of “the Garden” were required to “brown bag” it, arriving with their own liquor and mixing cocktails at the table under the gaze of cooperative management. The bar supplied soda and fruit juices.

Tantilla Garden was a destination on the Big Band circuit, hosting nationally popular performers such as Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey in addition to beloved local bands and performers, some of whose names have become pop-cultural footnotes. Among those featured on the posters in our collection are Spyder Turner, Jan Garber, Pat Patton, Charlie Wakefield, Earl Mellen and his Melodies, Benny Benson and the Texas Cyclone, Ron Moody and the Centaurs, the Continentals, the Coquettes, the Dynamic Blazers, Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, Red Nichols and His Pennies, Johnny Mack, Sammy Kaye, Lang Thompson, Jokers Wild, the Escorts, the Mind Expansion Club, Skeets Morris, Jelly Leftwich, and Viola Smith, … more

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Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania

C1: 097
1935
1 album, 12 x 17 inches, 40 pages, 130 photographs, mixed ephemera


C1:097  Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

“Through Virginia, 1935” was assembled, we speculate, by one of a group of three female auto tourists to commemorate their journey in the autumn of 1935.  The album is a virtual collage of ephemera from the period, intermingling personal photographs with postcards and brochures from various chambers of commerce promoting all manner of historic, industrial, recreational, and natural attractions.   The album not only brings together diverse ephemera from a particular historic moment in modern Virginia, it reveals the tourist’s desire to capture the experience of the road trip itself. The Virginia leg of this trip, including Richmond, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Fredericksburg, and Alexandria, occupies the bulk of the album, and includes original photos—extreme close-ups—of cotton and peanuts (southern novelties to a northern tourist) and the “old slave block” in Fredericksburg. A brochure proudly advertises Shenandoah Caverns as the only caves in the state with elevator service. In one instance, there are no fewer than six different brochures for Natural Bridge on a single page.  There are also many photos from the D.C. area, including Washington’s tomb, the Lincoln Memorial, the Franciscan Monastery, “bird’s eye” shots from the top of the Washington Monument, and more “vacationy” pictures of the women goofing off on the plinths of the Capitol in a manner that would now be inconceivable.


C1:097  Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.


C1:097  Through Virginia, 1935: A Scrapbook of a Trip Through Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

While the identities … more