Monday, December 6, 2010

The Old Confederate Soldier's Home, Richmond (now the site of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).

The image quiz from our last post was generated from this image - page #3 of the Richmond Dispatch, May 31, 1896 that was found on Chronicling America.

Larger view.

The newspaper was highlighting some of the memorials to the Confederate Army because of the reunion of Confederate Soldiers that was taking place in Richmond that week.

Regarding the Soldier's Home - here are some great postcard views:

In the early 1880s an effort to help the plight of a growing number of destitute Confederate veterans was organized in Richmond. In March of 1884 the Robert E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans was incorporated. In November of that year organizers purchased a 36-acre tract located at the corner of Grove Avenue and the Boulevard, the former property of the Anthony Robinson, Jr. family.

Some of the smaller structures - houses where the old soldiers lived 
- can be seen here along Sheppard St. This postcard dates ca. 1910.

The Robinson House, an Italianate-style building built 1851, can be seen here on the left. It is one of two extant buildings of the original Soldier’s Home grounds. The other is the Confederate Memorial Chapel, designed by Marion Dimmock (1846-1908) and built in 1887, located at the corner of Grove Avenue and Sheppard Street. This post card is postmarked 1924. The Robinson House was moved about 200 feet during recent renovations to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Postmarked 1914.

The interior grounds of the Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers’ Home included a number of frame buildings, many built in the Gothic revival style. A cafeteria, hospital, and recreation hall stood on the Boulevard side. At its peak the Soldiers’ Home averaged some 300 residents. In later years the cafeteria was open to area residents for dining. 

This postcard has two hand stamp dates - one reads 1912 and the other 1913.

The back of this post card, ca. 1910, reads:
"Situated in a beautiful grove, in the western portion of the City, are the comfortable cottages (several of which are shown in this view) in which reside some 275 Confederate Veterans. Here these honored heroes of a hundred battles, 'by [?] subdued' are spending the evening of life calmly and fearlessly awaiting the inevitable summons to spread again their tents on the eternal campground."

- Ray B.


HEK said...

Thanks for this post. The LVA exhibit a few years ago presented an architectural conjecture about an elaborate and massive structure for the home that, like so many projects, lack of money prevented. Probably for the good; had such an edifice already stood the state might've been chary of demolishing it for the museum -- or tried to put it in it.

scott davidson said...

You can of course always decorate your home with flowers that don't grow, or wilt either. These were painted by master painters of the past, in Western art history. I found a "garden" full of these flowers at, a company that makes excellent canvas prints, and even hand-painted replicas in oil paint on canvas, from digital images in their large archive for you to choose from.
I ordered this one online from, , called Flowers by Jan Brueghel the Elder, a Flemish painter of the 16th century, as a present for my dear sister for her birthday, that she now has proudly hanging in her living room. She loves tulips and actually has those growing in the garden now, not far from the framed canvas print.
She said the print adds "timelessness" to the atmosphere of her living space. That's true, because that beautiful vase of flowers has now stood for 600 years.

Capt. Penn said...

My father Milton Burke went to the auction of the old homes and bid on one for my great aunt. He was high bidder at $65 and the house was taken down and re built on Broad Rock Rd.