May 6 2013

Ella Cinders’ Tea Room

Ella Cinders' Tea Room was located at the southwest corner of Myrtle Street and Route 1. In 1934, a customer wrote to a friend on this postcard, "The room is nice with steam heat and running water in the room." The building was torn down, and AutoZone is now on the site. The Tea Room may have been named for the syndicated comic strip, Ella Cinders, which ran in newspapers from 1925 to 1961. A [...]

Apr 30 2013

D.B. Cox Department Store

D.B. Cox Department Store of Ashland, A Nutshell History The D.B. Cox Department Store was the anchor of the Ashland downtown area from 1867 to 1955. When it was sold, it was the oldest business in Ashland and was the oldest in Hanover County in continuous ownership by one  family. It was begun after the Civil War by Duncan Balfour Cox. D.B. Cox original store (behind the buggy) at the corner of Robinson St. [...]

Feb 7 2013

Hanover National Bank

On February 5, 1903, Hanover National Bank of Ashland was established in Ashland, VA (according to bank history records maintained by the FFIEC). Hanover Bank's first home was a little frame building erected north of Thompson St., near the post office. It was Hanover County's first bank. In 1919, the bank built an impressive brick building at 103 North Railroad Avenue in the latest Beaux Arts fashion, complete with paired columns and a classical arched [...]

Sep 8 2012

1857 – Thumbs Up from Alexandria

Here is a transcription of a letter published in the Alexandria Gazette on August 25, 1857. According to the Library of Congress, this newspaper was published in Alexandria, VA, from 1834 to 1974. The author of the letter is unknown since it is signed only with the word, "Union". A link to an image of the original letter from the microfilmed copy of the newspaper is provided below the transcribed text. A Suggestion The passenger over [...]

Aug 30 2012

A Visit to Ashland – 1860

Here is a transcription of a letter published in the Daily National Intelligencer on May 23, 1860. This newspaper was published in Washington, D.C., from about 1800 to 1870. The author of the letter is unknown since it is signed only with the initials A.M. A link to an image of the original letter from the microfilmed copy of the newspaper is provided below the transcribed text. A VISIT TO ASHLAND  “Sweet Ashland, loveliest village of [...]

Aug 20 2012

Meyberg’s Store

Before 1900, L.E.W. Meyberg, an immigrant to the United States from Germany, had been a clerk in various Ashland shops. In 1894, he had saved enough money to rent this building and establish his own business. He was listed as a “notions” merchant in the 1900 census, but Ashland’s children of that time remembered him as the man who sold penny candy. Meyberg’s store is on the far right in the photo of Ashland's "business [...]

Aug 20 2012

Barnes Drug Store

In 1899, pharmacist C.A. Barnes bought out a pharmacy owned by Woolfolk and Ellis. He established Barnes Drug Store just north of Thompson St on the west side of the railroad tracks. The facade of the U.S. Post Office storefront is visible at the right edge of the photo below. A few years later, the post office had moved south on Railroad Ave into another building. In 1919, the original Hanover Bank building was constructed [...]

May 8 2012

Cross Bros. Grocery

Cross Bros. Grocery began serving the community of Ash­land in May 1912, under the ownership of brothers Her­bert J. and Walter N. Cross. At that time, a pound of flour cost 15 cents and a quart of  milk cost 9 cents. The original frame structure was located along the railroad tracks that went through the center of town. In the early years beef, lamb, veal, turkey, chicken and duck would be prepared for sale on [...]

Jan 18 2012

1903 – The Telephone Comes to Ashland

In 1903 the telephone came to Ashland. Julia Weisiger was the manager of the telephone exchange from that time until she retired 35 years later when the C&P Telephone Compa­ny installed a new automatic dialing system. Under the old manual system, Julia served as the day operator, and one of Dr. Daniel S. Ellis' sons served as night operator. Residents cranked their phone to ring Miss Julia and would give her the name of the [...]

Jan 3 2012

Reconstruction, the Great Fire and the early 1900’s

At the end of the Civil War, Ashland, Hanover County and much of the South were bankrupt. But, when Randolph-Macon College came to town, the town of Ashland experience a building boom. New businesses were established to serve the residents, college students, faculty and staff. When it became evident that the college would remain on the hotel property, the railroad company asked the college to build a re­placement hotel. So college trustee A. G. Brown [...]

Sep 4 2011

The original Henry Clay Hotel, 1906 – 1946

Since the 1860's Ashland enjoyed popularity as a 'resort community serving those weary of city life. In 1868, Randolph-Macon College relocated from Boydton, Virginia, and purchased the Ashland Hotel. That hotel was used for student housing as well as a site for school functions. The Ashland Hotel burned down in 1905 and was rebuilt as the Henry Clay Hotel in 1906. This second hotel was located just north of today's location on Center Street. The [...]

Jan 24 2011

Ashland Racecourse

At some point in the 1850's, the president of the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad Company, Edwin Robinson, established a racecourse in Ashland.  The only indication left of the racecourse is in a street name, “Race Course Street”  in the southwest part of town, perpendicular to the railroad tracks. Races were held at the Ashland Racecourse as late as spring 1860. Within a month of this ad, published in the Richmond Dispatch, May 28, 1860, [...]

Nov 8 2010

Hughes Drug

After graduating from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) School of Pharmacy, James Goodrich (J.G.) Hughes moved to Ashland from Cumberland County, VA. He opened Hughes Drug and married Nannie B. Luckett in 1889. Pharmacists of this era mixed chemicals and natural products by hand to make drugs in liquid or pill form often containing alcohol, morphine, cocaine or opium. He also sold perfumes, stationery, college books, kerosene lamps and fine toiletries, and many other [...]

Apr 7 2010

After 1923 – Railroad Avenue looking north

In 1920's, several new buildings have appeared in the commercial district. The first building visible at the left edge of the photo, on the south side of Thompson St., is the "new" Cox Department store. Today, the Ironhorse restaurant occupies the ground floor of this building. A Safeway Grocery is on the northwest corner of Railroad Ave and Thompson St. That location used to be a picket-fence enclosed lot for tying up horses next to [...]

Apr 7 2010

Ashland at the Turn of the Century

This photograph of Ashland's business district looking south from the intersection of Railroad and College Avenues was taken just after the turn of the century.  The passenger station on the left was built by the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad in 1866.  The tower supplied water for steam engines.  The freight depot is hidden by the water tower.  Frame shops are located on the east (left) side of the tracks beyond England Street, but across [...]

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