“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Oregon Hill

Oregon Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 3, 2017
1. Oregon Hill Marker
Inscription.  The Henrico County town of Sydney, laid out here in 1817, was slow to develop. Oregon Hill, a working-class Richmond neighborhood just east of Belvidere Street, expanded westward across the county line to this area during the 1850s. Many white laborers, including European immigrants, and a smaller number of free African American workers settled here, attracted by affordable housing near the city’s numerous factories. Richmond annexed this neighborhood in 1867. Philanthropist Grace Arents contributed buildings for educational, religious, and social institutions between 1890 and 1912. The Oregon Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
Erected 2016 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number SA-112.)
Location. 37° 32.506′ N, 77° 27.211′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker is on Idlewood Avenue west of South Cherry Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 911 Idlewood Ave, Richmond VA 23220, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this
Oregon Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 3, 2017
2. Oregon Hill Marker
marker. Grace Evelyn Arents (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Memorial Pyramid (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jacob House (approx. ¼ mile away); Samuel Pleasants Parsons House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Virginia State Penitentiary (approx. 0.3 miles away); Monroe Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); John Miller House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Virginia War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia Entry. “Oregon Hill is a historic working-class neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia. Oregon Hill overlooks the James River and Belle Isle, and provides access to Hollywood Cemetery. Due to the neighborhoods proximity to the Monroe Park Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, the neighborhood is sometimes referred to as a student quarter because of its high college student population. William Byrd III established a rural estate on the property in 1758. Wealthy heiress Grace Arents helped build many institutions to serve the community” (Submitted on September 10, 2017.) 

2. 1991 National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Statement of Significance. In the first half of the nineteenth century in the vicinity of Tredegar Iron Works, Oregon Hill began to develop as a working-class neighborhood. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Oregon Hill neighborhood
Laurel Street in Oregon Hill, Richmond, Virginia image. Click for full size.
Morgan Riley, via Wikipedia Commons, March 12, 2011
3. Laurel Street in Oregon Hill, Richmond, Virginia
and its residents played an active part in the reestablishment of Richmond’s position as a southern industrial and commercial center after the destructive and divisive years of the American Civil War. As home not to the wealthy but the working class of Richmond, Oregon Hill is intimately connected with the revival of the city’s economic, commercial, and manufacturing health.

The development of the neighborhood on the west side of Belvidere Street, from the 1818 construction of the Parsons House to the early twentieth century, provided residents with a place to live that was both affordable and within easy walking distance of the main manufacturing and commercial areas of the city. The early settlement of the neighborhood is also a part of the chronicle of the westward expansion of the city’s residential areas.

With very cohesive unified streetscapes that authentically echo its period of significance, Oregon Hill presents an unusual survival of a vernacular architecture and way of life of a social class not often the subject of historic preservation efforts. Examples of Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian Italianate, Second Empire, Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Spanish Colonial Revival architectural styles can also be found in Oregon Hill.

A significant figure in the history of Oregon Hill was Grace Evelyn Arents, niece of Lewis Ginter and heiress to his tobacco fortune. She was financially and personally involved in providing educational, social, and religious institutions and programs that served the working-class residents of Oregon Hill. Many of the significant landmarks in the neighborhood such as Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church and School, the Arents Free Library, the Instructive Visiting Nurse Association Building, the Grace Arents Public Housing and the Grace Arents School are the direct result of her beneficence. (Submitted on September 10, 2017.) 
Categories. Industry & CommercePolitical Subdivisions
More. Search the internet for Oregon Hill.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 119 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 10, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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