1876 Beers Atlas

A very useful map for anyone studying the history of Oregon Hill and Richmond is the 1876 Beers Atlas. This very detailed atlas identifies the names of the property owners and shows the building footprints. For example, the detail above shows that the Baptist Church in 1876 was on the opposite corner of the 400 block of S. Pine Street, and that the Samuel Parsons House at 601 Spring Street was then known as the Spring Street Home. The Illustrated atlas of the city of Richmond, Va. / by F.W. Beers is available for free on the Library of Congress website (much of Oregon Hill is shown on Section P of the map): http://memory.loc.gov/
Photo credit: Library of Congress

Beers Atlas, 1876, Library of Congress

Important Announcement For July 3 Fireworks

From Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association, in regard to fireworks on July 3:

On July 3rd:

At around 5 pm, police officers will be stationed at the following intersections:

Laurel and Idlewood, Holly and Laurel, Holly and Pine.

Because of congestion and traffic from the Downtown Expressway, police decided this year to close Laurel Street at Idlewood to everyone but neighbors and guests.

Those without the password or current proof of address will still be able to access the neighborhood at Spring Street until around 7 pm. At 7 pm, the police will start closing down Belvedere and the Lee Bridge.

The Overlook be closed to all but residents and guests. The Oregon Hill Parkway should be closed at the same time 2nd street is closed. The Lee Bridge ramps will be closed also.

Neighbors can get past the police at any time with the password or identification showing that they reside in the neighborhood.

1867 Mitchie/Micheler Corps of Engineers map

The 1867 Mitchie/Micheler Corps of Engineers map shows the buildings and topography of the entire Richmond area. The attached small detail from the huge map shows a portion of the Oregon Hill neighborhood between the horse-shoe shaped Penitentiary on Spring Street on the right and Hollywood Cemetery on the left. This map shows many homes that were built in Oregon Hill by the Civil War. These houses typically were small workers’ dwellings with gable roofs. Quite a bit of development is shown south of Spring Street, probably because much of this area of the neighborhood was included in the Belvidere estate, which was subdivided around 1817.

Much of the 1867 Mitchie/Micheler map has been placed on the Civil War Richmond website, available for free download:

Photo credit: Civil War Richmond website (from original map in the National Archives)

1867 Corps of Engineers map, Michie-Micheler (detail)

“Oregon Hill Proposed Conditions for Tredegar Green Amphitheater”

The following letter was sent from an attorney hired by the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association on June 17 to members of City Council, the Mayor’s office, Richmond Police Department, and others.

Dear elected and appointed officials of the City of Richmond:

We represent the neighborhood associations of Oregon Hill and the Overlook.

The citizens of Oregon Hill and the Overlook have engaged with Venture Richmond in a series of discussions, and today have provided a set of draft conditions for the consideration of Venture Richmond in their proposed zoning request to the City for the Tredegar Green Amphitheater.

The homeowners and residents of Oregon Hill support (and enjoy) robust public use of the riverfront and specifically do not oppose reasonable use of the Tredegar Green property. However, like any neighborhood of homeowners in the City, they have reasonable concerns about adverse impacts on noise, parking, trash, public safety and the like. And, like any neighborhood of homeowners in the City, they have a legitimate expectations that these adverse impacts will be reasonably addressed by a zoning applicant and by their City officials.

To assist Venture Richmond and the City, we have prepared a proposed set of conditions that we feel reasonably address the adverse impacts of use of the Tredegar Green property. Attached are that set of conditions and an explanatory cover letter to Venture Richmond counsel Bill Axselle.

We look forward to working with Venture Richmond and the City as the zoning application goes forward. In that process, we submit these conditions to allow the uses that Venture Richmond envisions while reasonably protecting the neighbors on Oregon Hill.

We welcome your input and assistance in this regard.

Thank you very much,

Andrew R. McRoberts
Sands Anderson PC

From: McRoberts, Andrew R.
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 1:31 PM
Subject: Oregon Hill Proposed Conditions for Tredegar Green Amphitheater

Bill, here are our proposed conditions and an explanatory cover letter. We look forward to working with you in addressing the Oregon Hill neighborhood’s reasonable concerns.

We learned this morning – too late to affect these conditions I promised you today – that the Richmond Police Department (“RPD”) may wish for the applications for event management plan approval to go through another department or agency rather than the RPD. Although I have not discussed this with my clients, I anticipate that shifting the receiving/approving agency to another department or office which works better for all would be acceptable to us. As I mentioned in the cover letter, a number of City departments may be involved in review of a proposed event management plan.

Thanks for your assistance,


Andrew R. McRoberts
Sands Anderson PC

Attachment: Letter to Hon Ralph L. Axselle Jr 6-17-15 (Editor’s note: click here for PDF)