John Banister Tabb

This post comes courtesy of Hollywood Cemetery’s FaceBook page:

John Banister Tabb was an American poet who received national and international recognition for his poems.
At the age of 17, he joined the Confederate Navy as a blockade runner, bringing supplies from Bermuda and Nassau to the Carolinas. He was eventually captured by Union troops and imprisoned at a Federal prison camp in Maryland. There he met fellow prisoner, Georgia poet-musician Sidney Lanier. Bound by their talents in music and poetry, Tabb and Lanier shared a life-long friendship.
Tabb went on to become a Roman Catholic priest and a professor of English. His poems were widely published in various prestigious magazines, and he became one of just two American writers admitted to the Oxford University Press Garland Series of Epigrams (1916).
He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Section 20, Lot 62 following his death in 1909. One of his poems is engraved on his tombstone:
If life and death be things that seem
If death be sleep and life a dream
May not the everlasting sleep
The dream of life eternal keep

The Boss At Monroe Park

Re-post from neighbor Todd Woodson in the Fans of Monroe Park FaceBook group:

There was a free show in Monroe Park on June 1, 1969 including the Richmond debut of the band Child featuring a young Bruce Springsteen. They did 3 songs before, as I recall, they got shut down by police at the urging of the residents of the Prestwould. The songs played were Voodoo Child, Jennifer and Crown Liquor. This photo, courtesy of BruceBase was supposedly taken of the Boss at Monroe Park at the 1969 show. They would return to Monroe Park on July 18, 1971 as the Bruce Springsteen Band…

The Foundry Market At Tredegar This Sunday

The American Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works is hosting ‘The Foundry Market’ from 12 pm to 4 pm this Sunday (and also June 11).

From event description:

The American Civil War Museum’s Foundry Market is an artisan craft fair with an emphasis on handmade, local products. We’ll have vendors from across the state, demonstrations of craftsman at work, and food trucks.

Bring the whole family down for a Sunday at Historic Tredegar and imagine what our bustling ironworks might have been like 150 years ago.

PARTICIPATING VENDORS:
Beego Handmade
Flourish Creative
Grid+Love
Liberatus Jewelry
Matthew Pellman
Morris and Norris
MudLOVE
New Custom
Nicholas Creek Forge
PaperFreckles
Paper Rose
Petite Shards Productions
Renan Banjos
Robin’s Egg Jewelry
Ruby Belle Adornments
Sew Brave Designs
The Bird & Elephant
The Timbered Wolf
The Wild Wander
thimbleberry

….and more!

‘Dirtwoman’ Documentary Benefit

There is documentary being filmed for one of Oregon Hill’s most infamous progeny and Richmond’s most famous drag queen, Donny Corker, aka ‘Dirtwoman.’ In order to raise funds and capture memories, the Sound of Music studio, now in Scott’s Addition (1710 Altamont Ave.), will be holding ‘Dirtwoman Toast’ on Sunday, May 21, at 7 pm. The admission cost is $10.Part of the proceeds will go to producing the documentary and part of them will go to Corker to help defray medical cost hardships.

Excerpts from recent Style article:

Everyone over a certain age has a Dirtwoman story. Corker’s antics as Richmond’s most well-known 400-lb. drag queen are legendary, from the 1993 pin-up calendar to running for mayor, to his years as Mrs. Claus at the annual Hamaganza. Just as noteworthy is Corker’s pre-Stonewall role-modeling: He’s been unabashedly out as gay since he was a teenager.

In the works is a documentary about Dirtwoman that began 15 years ago on the occasion of Corker’s 50th birthday with an event at Caffeine’s featuring go-go boys, drag queens and people sharing their own Dirtwoman tales. Now at 65 and with major health issues, Corker’s life story is on track to finally be completed by local video producer, Jerry Williams.

“This is the culmination of my 45 years as a video producer and director,” Williams says of the passion project. “I’ve never had a story that I was willing to commit a year of my life to making, but this is it.”

For those who missed Dirtwoman’s glory years, the Toast is also an opportunity to hear anecdotes from a life so colorful that even John Waters’ biggest star, Divine, was a fan. And for those curious about how the name Dirtwoman originally came about, let’s just say it involved some inappropriate behavior in the back seat of a cop car and leave it at that.

From the FaceBook event page:

The TOAST is being held to compile stories from Donnie’s fans for the documentary. Everyone who attends will be invited to spend a few minutes on stage with Donnie to pay tribute and share their favorite memories. There will also be a special “private” studio for people who would prefer not to go on stage. People are encouraged to bring any pertinent photos or other memorabilia.
To have an idea of timing, Williams requests that people who want to speak, please email him at TVJerry@TVJerry.com.

The Foundry Series- Combat, Racial Violence & Resilience

Quite a title, right? The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar is hosting this event Thursday evening:

Following the Civil War and Emancipation, Union veterans and African American civilians faced physical and mental challenges that put their resilience to the test in new post-War environments.

Gather for snacks, drinks, and socializing at 6pm, talks begin around 6:30pm.

Featuring:

Never Get Over It: What Night Riding Meant to African American Families
Kidada E. Williams, Ph.D., Wayne State University
From 1868-1871, armed southern white men raided African American communities, holding families hostage and subjecting them to torture, rape, and assassination. Using victims’ testimonies before Congress, Kidada E. Williams presents the story of how survivors understood the consequences of this violence, specifically how it unmade their families and compromised their ability to fulfill their visions of freedom.

Sublimity,Terror and Love: Veterans and the Psychological Impact of War
Stephen A. Goldman, M.D., FAPM, DFAPA, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Tools of war have undergone significant technological advances since the American Civil War, but the experience of battle and its effects on the combatant remain strikingly similar and profound in our time. The multifaceted psychological impact of war includes not only combat stress reactions, but also emotional resilience and successful societal reintegration. Explore the great influences, positive and negative, of combat and military service on veterans’ lives, and what has been learned throughout history about treating those who’ve been under fire. Following a remarkable group of severely wounded Union soldiers and sailors, discover how their powerful warrior identity spurred commitment to Reconstruction and racial equality, and sustained their collective belief in the causes for which they had fought.

Program Partners
Black Minds Matter Project
YWCA Richmond
Virginia War Memorial
Virginia Veteran and Family Support

Cost: $10.00, $8.00 members

Mrs. F.W. Stevenson

Mrs. F.W. Stevenson, a new emigrate here circa 1855. Her husband later built in the neighborhood called Oregon Hill or Belvidere Hill twenty years later.

His request is complied by the Richmond council committee on July 17, 1876

Images and descriptions courtesy of Richard Lee Bland.

The Women of Hollywood Walking Tour

Bring mom out for a specialty walking tour in Hollywood tomorrow!

The Valentine museum is sponsoring:

Explore the role that women’s groups played in Hollywood Cemetery’s history from the Civil War to the present. Visit grave sites of women who were educators, authors, preservationists, suffragists and humanitarians. Meet at the Hollywood Cemetery entrance at Cherry and Albemarle streets, near the rear of the stone structure to the left. Please note that this tour is 1.5 to 2 miles and involves several inclines. Comfortable shoes and water are recommended.

$15 per person
$5 for Valentine Members
Walk-ups welcome.
Cash or check.
On-street parking

You may also want to bring an umbrella!

eBay Auction Prompts Historic Interest In Steinmann Storefront

The Shockoe Examiner blog has picked up on an eBay auction of some old Oregon Hill photos and ephemera.

It’s a wonderful image of the Laurel Street Market located at 349 S. Laurel St., corner of Laurel and Albemarle Streets in Richmond’s Oregon Hill neighborhood

  • (Editor’s note: Where Rest In Pieces store is now)
  • . The seller shows the back of this photograph where it’s written: “Taken Feb 27 – 17” – so I assume it was taken on Feb. 27, 1917. The store was owned by John Frederick Ernest Steinmann (1871-1934).

    Steinmann’s 1911 will, which is listed for sale in the same eBay auction, notes 346 Laurel St. with “house and lot” was bequeathed to his son Henry, and 344 Laurel with “house and lot” was bequeathed to his son Charles.

    The building permit is for “store and dwelling.” So the brick building was brand new when the photo was taken that is on sale on ebay.

    Neighbor Charles Pool found a notice of the building permit in the July 1, 1911 Times Dispatch and it supports the current owner’s research that the family lived upstairs.