The Wickham House where The Valentine opened, seen after 1933. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
On this episode, Bill Martin, The Director of The Valentine Richmond History Center discusses the history of The Valentine, which is the oldest museum in Richmond. The museum opened its doors in 1898 in the Wickham House on the corner of Clay and 11th St. Over the years the museum has gone through many changes as RVA and its needs for a museum have changed, including expansion. The museum now takes up the entire block of East Grace St between 10th & 11th Streets. Martin also tells History Replays Today about the current renovations of the museums main galleries. The renovation is allowing Martin and The Valentine to reexamine what its means to live in a city like Richmond, that is layered with history and how that history should be taught and related to.
The Valentine Richmond History Center is a must visit for any one that wants to know anything about Richmond. The museum (like this podcast) focuses on ALL of Richmond’s history not just the Civil War. In fact Martin lays out why the Civil War may not even be the most important time in RVA’s history.
Mike Gorman talks to host Jeff Majer about President Abraham Lincoln’s historic trip to Richmond less then 48 hour after the evacuation of the Confederate Government. The Confederates had held the strong hold in RVA for 4 years and on their way out of town the business district will be set ablaze.
When the President appears on the banks of the James River he will be mobbed by newly freed slaves as he tries to push his way through Shockoe.
Gorman is a historian with the National Park Service and compiles sources about Civil War Richmond at www.mdgorman.com.
The Hippodrome Theater as it looked when it opened in 1913. The original building burns. The fire is covered in the podcast. Photo from Richmond Times-Distpatch
Ben Anderson, Park Guide for the National Park Service has done intensive research on Richmond’s most famous historic black theater, the Hippodrome. Anderson has a conversation with host Jeff Majer, about the theater in Jackson Ward. The theater is celebrating its 100th birthday and the conversation covers almost all 100 years.
The Hippodrome Theater as of 9/14/13, photo by Jeff Majer
Mark Greenough, Tour Supervisor and Historian at the Virginia State Capitol talks about the early days of the building. Many folks know that Thomas Jefferson designed the Virginia State Capitol, but the story is far more complicated and dramatic then a founding father dabbling in architecture.
The conversation addresses why the capital of Virginia was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond, why Thomas Jefferson designed the building, why it is where it is, what RVA was like as a young capital and much more.
Jeff Majer has a conversation with Hugh Campbell the owner and operator of the John Marshall Barber Shop on Richmond’s Shockoe Hill. The barber shop opened in 1929 on the same day that the stock market crashed that caused the great depression. Campbell has been cutting hair t the shop for almost 50 years and has hosted many notables including Cab Calloway, George Bush, Richard Nixon, Elvis, Bruce Willis and many more.
CORRECTION: I say in this episode Shockoe Bottom yet the John Marshall is clearly on Shockoe Hill. My bad.
In this episode, Jeff Majer sits down with the first Governor of Virginia, lawyer and Founding Father Patrick Henry at St John’s Church in Richmond, Va, the site of Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech. Patrick Henry is portrayed by Kevin Grantz, a re enactor from St John’s Church.
This is a conversation about Richmonder, Edgar Allan Poe with Chris Semtner, the curator of the Poe Museum in Richmond, VA. In the conversation Poe becomes a human and not the caricature that most people know as Poe.
The First Episode of The History Replays Today Podcast. Harry Kollatz is the guest. He discusses his book Richmond in Ragtime: Socialists Suffragists, Sex and Murder. Harry is also the Senior Writer at Richmond Magazine and the author of True Richmond Stories. Both of his books are from History Press.