Thursday, December 11, 2014


Found another postcard of a guest house. This one was operated by Mrs. W.P. Glover. Located at 3914 Chamberlayne, it was known as The Gables. Other than modern conveniences, nothing else is known about this spot. Unfortunately, like most of the 3900 block, it was replaced by The Roanoke apartment building.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Continuing the Tour

One stop that was inadvertently left out is the view of Chamberlayne Avenue from Hood's Nursery.   This view, at the corner of Westwood Avenue, looks west towards the Union Theological Seminary, recently renamed Union Presbyterian Seminary.  The two houses in the picture are still standing.

One block away stood "THE HOUSE OF BRUCE" at 3500.  On the back of this post card is printed: The House of Bruce, Modern and Distinctive Guest Accommodations, Excellent Meals, Private and Connecting Baths, Steam Heat and Garage.  A guest wrote simply "Picture of the place we stayed in Richmond."  

Another view of the early days of Chamberlayne, before the advent of the tourist home, is here.  This is the west side of the 3600 block.  The first house was built by Garland Pollard, who went on to become a governor of Virginia.  The next house belong to the Ruffin family of Ruffin and Payne lumber.  The third house was built by Mann Sycle in 1908; his family owned a men's department store downtown.

Across the street, at 3607 was the "CHAMBERLAYNE LODGE TOURIST HOME and TEA ROOM".  The proprietor was Mrs. H.E. Haden.  

Two doors down, at 3609, was TOLVIS GUEST HOME.  "A Home Away From Home"  is printed on the back, along with the name of Mrs. K.P. Jarvis, Hostess.
"PARK LODGE", one of the few tourist homes that still stands, is at 3806 Chamberlayne Avenue.  Mr. and Mrs. Julian Gilkeson were the owners.  Along with the usual details about rooms with private baths, this had the added distinction of being recommended by Duncan Hines, himself. 

Down the street was "THE PENFIELD GUEST HOME" at 3810, owned by Mrs. W.S. Penley.  Advertised as a "Quiet Place - No Radios - No Pets.  Strictly Modern Home. Running Water in Rooms. Private Baths, Showers. Garages. Parking Space."  One post card has the message that "The Waynesboro Music Class stayed here while at the Musical Festival in Richmond.  Mrs. Penley is certainly a sweet woman. Ruby Ross"  Another guest  and her friend stayed here in July of 1940.

"REDMONT" was located at 3814.  It had "Private and Connecting Baths, Automatic Heat and Hot Water.  Mr. and Mrs. Oliver A. Chalifoux were the owners.

Closer to the outskirts of town were the last two guest homes.  This one, at 4804, was called "BROOK HILL COTTAGE" and was owned by Mrs. F.B. Deitrick. 

This house still stands, as does its twin at 4800 Chamberlayne.

The last house is "THE VIRGINIAN" at 4832.  This was owned by Mrs. George M. Sawyer.  The condition of the curb looks rundown and Watkins Street at the corner looks unpaved.  Although still standing, the porch was removed and only deck railing now surrounds the existing porch floor.

The Brook Hill Coffee Shop was likely a convenient stop for tourists on the road and visiting at the guest houses.  Today it is a Subway at the corner of Azalea and Chamberlayne Avenues.  Here is this photo, it is a charming brick diner with attractive shrubbery planted on the south side.  Judging from the car parked on the extreme left, this dates from the late 1930's to the early 1940's. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The Chamberlayne Avenue Initiative is busy working on ideas to make our thoroughfare more attractive and inviting as a gateway into Richmond. This blog wants to showcase the homes along this Ginter Park avenue; many are long gone, victims of contemporary tastes and white flight. Many do survive and some are being restored.

(For history on the Ginter Park neighborhood and Chamberlayne Avenue as a designated US Route 1 highway, see

Below is a series of postcards that were published for the various tourist homes that lined Chamberlayne during the 1930's and 40's. During the Depression, some homeowners turned their houses into guest lodges, catering to the travelers along US Route 1.

Ironically, the first postcard is of the Richmond Motel, 2600 Chamberlayne Avenue, an establishment that most likely put the tourist homes out of business. The description on the back reads "Richmond Motel In the Heart of Town, 2600 Chamberlayne Avenue - ELgin 3-9647, On U.S> Route 1 and 301, Richmond 22, Virginia, 70 Modern Rooms, Tiled Baths, TV and Air Conditioning Optional. Restaurants Nearby. Easy Access to Business and Shopping Districts. Mr. and Mrs. D.D. Burton, Owners-Managers."

Obviously this motel, which still stands, does not have 70 rooms. The only conclusion is that they included their second location, at the corner of Lombardy and Brook Road, in this count. However on this card, the Lombardy location is marked out; possibly the Burtons sold this by the time the card was published.

The first three houses are located south of Brookland Park Boulevard, and all are still standing, although alterations have been made to them.

2912 Chamberlayne Avenue. The back of the postcard reads: "'The Sign of a Good Night's Rest', 2912 Chamberlayne Ave. Richmond, VA (Just 4 minutes from Business section). Rooms bright, well ventilated with outside exposure. Beds equipped with luxurious innerspring mattresses. Hot and cold baths - tubs and showers. Ample parking space. Rates reasonable. Telephone, wire or write for reservations. Mrs. M.D. Pleasants, Telephone 4-3297, On U.S. Route 1."

"THE HAVEN, Guests, Mrs. George Deierhoi, Hostess, 2916 Chamberlayne Ave., U.S. No. 1 and 2, Phone 5-8546, Richmond, Va."

The Mulberry
2918 Chamberlayne Avenue

Park View Manor, 3201 Chamberlayne Avenue. Wonder what a "club breakfast" is?

3206 Chamberlayne Avenue, the oldest house in Ginter Park, still stands with its entrance on Seminary Avenue. The message on the back states the writer ate here while in Richmond in 1935; she was traveling north from Florida, to Charleston, Richmond and Washington, DC. Note the long hours the tea room was open. This house was known by many names: Jessie Williams House; Armstrong House; Rennie-Williams House and Spring Grange.

"'TARRY-Ho', 3403 Chamberlayne Avenue, Richmond, Virginia, Mrs. Cleland B. Welton, hostess.

"When in Historic Richmond stop at 'GREEN SHUTTERS' Guest House, 3409 Chamberlayne Ave.  Richmond, Virginia, On U.S. Highway No. 1 and 2.  North side of City.  Mrs. Kenneth O.Reid, Phone 5-6343