“ghost of Grace”

Henrico Citizen has a recent article that touches on Oregon Hill’s ‘patron saint’, Grace Arents:

Just across Hilliard Road from the Lakeside Town Center, at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (LGBG), employees of the Garden often speak of the “ghost of Grace.” At a recent Lakeside Business Association social, a few business owners wondered whether the spirit playing in the shops might be a long-ago resident of the homes that were once on the site – or perhaps the young Grace Arents, Lewis Ginter’s niece.

Beth Monroe, LGBG director of public relations and marketing, noted that Arents – who lived as an adult in the Bloemendaal House and possibly played on the grounds as a child – had a generous nature and was known for her philanthropic efforts, such as establishing a convalescent home for children and founding Richmond’s first public library.

Arents was especially concerned with the plight of urban children, who would often be brought out from Oregon Hill to Bloemendaal Farm so that they could enjoy fresh air and eat healthy foods. “The site of the Children’s Garden is where she grew her vegetables,” Monroe pointed out.

Noting that “places like Lewis Ginter often have a patron saint of sorts,” Monroe said that Arents clearly fits the profile of the affectionate, benevolent, and playful spirit that seems to show up at the Bloemendaal House from time to time. While “Grace’s ghost” has not been heard to giggle, staff members and volunteers have occasionally reported feeling a rush of air when no one else was around, said Monroe. Others have caught a glimpse of a vision in white.

And like the spirit that frequents the Lakeside Town Center, the Garden’s ghost seems to be an especially mischievous one.

“Whenever something odd happens at the house,” said Monroe, “like the lights blink, or a door that was closed is left open, we say, “Ahhh, there’s Grace again!”

Keys Found In Monroe Park

Found these keys in Monroe Park last night:

Also, found what looks like a new dog license. Found it yesterday morning along alley bisecting 600 block of S. Laurel.

It’s labeled


If either of these items belong to you, feel free to get in touch via info @ oregonhill.net.

R.I.P. Thomas G. “Harte” Hobson

Local artist/musician/Navy veteran Tom Harte died earlier this month. He was a Richmond native, born and raised in Oregon Hill.

Some of his artwork can be found at Luxor Vintage on Cary Street.

Here is an excerpt from a Style magazine article:

Harte is a free spirit with a huge nest of white and blond whiskers bursting from his chin. As usual, he’s chatting it up on the sidewalk.

“The second-hardest-working man in town,” he says of a FedEx delivery driver who is making a stop at Luxor. A woman Harte has invited to see the show stops by to tell him, “I just haven’t had time — but I’ll be back.”

Harte was born in Oregon Hill. He left Richmond in 1973 and didn’t come back until 1987. He started drawing while he was away and never stopped. Selling a few pieces of art a month keeps him afloat.

Harte has 38 works on display in Luxor, ranging in price from $25 (No. 2, “World Cup”) to $400 (No. 28, “Dad”). Harte uses a myriad of media: pen, crayon and paint; his mishmash of subjects includes horses, faces, trees and interior scenes.

“The most common reaction,” Lindberg says of customers, “is, ‘The same person did all this?'” He hopes a theme will emerge in future showings.

Harte says he, too, is working to hone his style and turn out great things. At the same time, he’s trying to remember that it’s just a job. “No matter how good you are,” he says philosophically, “all roads lead to death.”

Looking for Library Thief Suspect

From Richmond Police:

Richmond Police Department
E-mail Advisory 12/26/12
Library Theft Suspect Sought

Richmond Police detectives need the public’s help to identify the man in the attached surveillance photos in connection with a theft at a city library.

Between 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 5, an unknown person stole a cashbox from the city’s main library at 101 E. Franklin St. Detectives believe the man seen in these surveillance images may have hidden in the library when it closed the previous night and then stole the cashbox the next morning when the library opened.

Anyone with any information about this man’s identity or this crime is asked to call Fourth Precinct Detective John Walker at (804) 646-3184 or Crime Stoppers by calling 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers anonymously by texting 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip.

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Recycling on Thursday This Week

Because of the Christmas holiday this week, red Wednesday, which means trash and recycling pickup, is moved to Thursday. Please make sure you pick up containers after pickup Thursday night. They do not belong on the sidewalk after Thursday night.

Holiday Recycling

It’s the holiday season. The time when we create more throw away material than at any other time of the year. But just because we create it all doesn’t mean we have to throw it all away. With your local curbside or drop off program and other recycling resources, you can make the holiday season the season of recycling. You can recycle gift boxes, Christmas trees, wrapping paper, cards, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers, and more!


‘Diablo’ Needs Adaption

From email:

Meet Diablo, known as one of the strays on 400 S. Laurel. He needs a good home.

He is sweet and affectionate, and loves to sit on your lap. I think he’s probably best in a single-cat home, but he may play well with others. We are taking care of him, and will get him all of his shots.

If you are interested, please contact me via e-mail (marc_e_leslie at yahoo.com) or at 216-1441.

Dominion Donates $2 Million To Landmark Theater Renovation

Excerpt from Times Dispatch article:

Dominion Resources Inc. is donating $2 million toward the $50 million renovation of the Landmark Theater.
In return, the stage at the performing arts complex near Virginia Commonwealth University’s academic campus will be known as the Dominion Stage.
CenterStage Executive Director Richard M. Parison Jr., Dominion Resources CEO Thomas F. Farrell II and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced the gift Thursday night before the Richmond Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” at CenterStage’s Carpenter Theatre. Dominion Resources has sponsored the ballet since 2009.
The 3,565-seat playhouse will become the Altria Theater next year. Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA, bought the 20-year naming rights from the city for $10 million in July.
Due to be completed in 2014, the building’s renovation will include new restrooms, fire alarm controls, façade repairs, emergency lighting, roofing work, box-office and office improvements, new elevators and concession areas, as well as seating and theater-system upgrades.
The theater is hosting performances during the renovation, with shows scheduled around the work.