Monday, March 10, 2008


House on the left ( 1604 Woolen Mills Road. 002-1260-0030 ) built by Virginia (41 y.o.) and James Starkes (55 y.o.) in 1890.
Brick house on right residence of Cel and Bettie Harlow. John Baltimore, mason, Bettie Baltimore Harlow's brother, laid the brick.
The Starkes acquired their 4 acre lot the first day of summer, June 21, 1886, for five-hundred dollars (Albemarle County DB 92 Page 65). To the north the Starkes lot had 310 feet of frontage on Woolen Mills Road. It was bounded on the south by the C&O railroad tracks, to the east by a paper street, 2nd road (modern-day Franklin Street) and to the west by James Timberlake (002-1260-0037, 1512 Woolen Mills Road)
Following the death of the Starkes, their property became involved in a chancery suit between their children and was sold at auction June 20, 1903 to James Timberlake, wet-finishing foreman at the Woolen Mill. (Albemarle County Chancery orders 1903, Book 21, Page 42, Albemarle County DB 127 Page 250)
In January of 1916, Timberlake divided and sold Virginia Starkes land. The western portion of the land he sold to R.N. Gianniny (1600 Woolen Mills Road, 002-1260-0041, Albemarle County DB 161 PG 406 J.E.Timberlake to R.N. Gianniny 1/24/1916 $500). Gianniny was a weaving second hand who had grown up in the mill village. In 1919, at the age of 48, Gianniny was promoted to the position of supervisor of the Woolen Mills weaving department. Gianniny was Virginia Starkes first cousin (?? have to tie this down)
Gianniny subdivided his lot and sold the western portion to Woolen Mills transportation supervisor, J.E. Hudson (DB 162 PG184 R.N. Gianniny to J.E. Hudson 2/19/1916 $250, 1516 Woolen Mills Road, 002-1260-0040)
Timberlake sold the eastern portion of the Starkes lot to Marcellus and Bettie Harlow, 1606 Woolen Mills Road. (Albemarle County DB 160 PG 406, 002-1260-0045).
Marcellus "Cel" Harlow's wife, Bettie (nee Baltimore), had a sister in-law desperate to move back to her natal home. The Harlow's subdivided their lot.
The day after Christmas, 1916, Mamie Starkes Baltimore spent 1500 dollars and regained the house she lost thirteen years previously. (Albemarle County DB164 PG153 12/26/1916, M.C & Bettie Harlow to Mary Starkes Baltimore $1500).

Within a year, the company's stock and mortgage liabilities settled down to a total capitalization of about $101,000 in common stock, $56,000 in preferred stock, and $52,000 in mortgage bonds. Except for the gradual retirement of the mortgage, which was accomplished by 1903, these figures remained relatively constant until 1896. In that year the accumulated surplus was distributed to common stock owners pro rata in the form of $50,000 worth of new common stock. Capitalization was then set at $200,000. This in turn grew to $300,000 in 1902 when the surplus was once again capitalized in the form of capital stock. No further changes occurred before the outbreak of war in 1914, but the surplus had grown again to nearly $60,000 by that date.--Harry Poindexter

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Monday, February 18, 2008

new ballast

Thomas Jefferson Baltimore (9/13/1911-12/27/1971) on the south-side of his grand-parents house, 1604 Woolen Mills Road. Baltimore's grandfather, James Starkes, began working at the mill in the 1860's. Baltimore's son-in-law, William A. Strauss Jr., died February 13, 2008, in Richmond, Virginia.

Steps were quickly taken to adjust capitalization to the new needs. The board was granted sweeping powers to revise expenditures and the duties of officers and employees to meet the needs of increased size. A new mortgage of $50,000 was floated at six percent to replace the old and to add new ballast to the company. When this proved insufficient, Marchant in June turned again to the Northern stockholders, this time for loans. It appears that Coates sent some $13,500 and Furbush as least $10,000. Another $11,000 came from Brennan and Company, a local private bank. John L. Cochran also advanced $16,000 to rescue the company from its distresses.

These loans were obviously only temporary expedients. Plans had been made on the assumption that shortly after production started a large percentage of the proceeds would quickly flow back to the company. This hope was based on a new arrangement to sell through Northern commission houses which would immediately make advances on consignments. For some reason, the experiment failed and the mill found itself thrown back on loans to obtain capital. As a result, Marchant was able to run less than half the expensive machinery, yet production costs mounted so high that full capacity might be secured at an extra cost of only twenty-five percent.--Harry Poindexter

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Friday, November 23, 2007

the mortgage proved exceedingly worrisome

1604 & 1606 Woolen Mills Road, the Starkes-Baltimore and Harlow houses

The stockholders were impressed. Still, the faulty bulwarks had to be shored up if the mill hoped for financial stability. So they quickly authorized a mortgage of $20,000 and a $30,000 issue of preferred stock carrying a ten percent guaranteed dividend. Why this stock issue was proposed is a puzzle. Its interest rate was only slightly less than the current rate for loans; and because of the guarantee it was in one respect more insidious than loans. The preferred stock dividend would open an irreparable leak during bad years, while borrowing could be adjusted according to needs. The directors decided not to use this method. Instead, the mortgage alone was seized upon. Twenty thousand dollars worth of bonds were sold to three Charlottesville men: John Woody, Jr., N. H, Massle, and E. R. Watson. Carrying nine percent interest, the bonds were due in ten years but could be called in after five. As it turned out, the mill remained saddled with a mortgage for twenty years. In 1880 the first bonds were replaced by a new series bearing only seven percent interest. Watson, Massie, and Jefferson R. Taylor took the second issue. Before it was retired in 1894, the mortgage proved exceedingly worrisome. Even worse, the sum raised by the mortgage was too small to remove the immediate evils of an inadequate capital. Although a ten percent dividend was unwisely paid in 1874, the following year found the board seeking extensions on credits. In December, 1875, the directors were forced to sign a joint note to raise $1,000 to pay the employees! So scarce did funds remain that only two cash dividends--five percent in 1877 and six percent in 1880--could be paid between 1875 and 1881. Profits meanwhile were set aside to accumulate in a surplus fund or to be used for improvements. In 1876 the surplus account provided the base for a twenty percent increase in common stock.
--Harry Poindexter

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

a spirit of confidence

from the Baltimore-Pritchett collection, Mamie Starkes, c. 1892

If Marchant believed that his major difficulties could be solved by a new infusion of capital, there were others equally sanguine who were willing to risk their money in the Factory. Marchant and his son, Henry, joined with John Wood, M. L. Anderson, T. J. Wertenbaker, and John C. Patterson to form the Charlottesville Manufacturing Company. Chartered as a joint-stock company by an act of the Virginia General Assembly passed on February 4, 1860, the new organization was authorized to acquire capital of not less than $12,000 nor more than $100,000 by selling stock at fifty dollars a share. The company received permission to own as much as 500 acres of land and "such personal property as they may deem necessary and proper for carrying on the manufacture of cotton, wool, flour, corn meal and tobacco,? the grinding of plaster? and the sawing of lumber. On March 20, books were opened in Charlottesville at the counting room of Patterson. Within a month the firm was organized with George Carr serving as president and John Marchant, who deeded his property to the company, acting as general agent. From Baltimore an experienced man was procured to supervise the manufacturing operations, Jones having disappeared from view during the preceding years. From the existing advertisements of the new concern it appears that the processing of wool into rolls for home weaving and the manufacture of cotton and wool into jeans and linseys had become the principal interest of the mill. Custom service was stressed and and the traditional barter type exchange of raw wool for finished cloth continued. Whatever the proportion of its income the mill secured from its subsidiary operations, the accent on a more specialized product typified a maturing textile firm. The mere formation of the company was in itself evidence of a spirit of confidence--a spirit which outlasted great misfortune to blossom forth after the war with renewed energy.--Harry Poindexter

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Lottie Hawley

Virginia and James Starkes daughter Lottie moved from the Woolen Mills to Arizona. She is pictured above, standing on the right running board, date on the license plate is 1917. Who, what, when, where, why, how? Lottie had dozens of relatives on "The Place". Why move West?

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

unknown 006-0010

label label label! These individuals occupy a page of Virginia Starkes' bible. Doubtless Virginia knew who they were.


Friday, August 3, 2007

The Book + the scrapbook

The word of God and the children of God in one place, a Bible with a built in section for family photos.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

the Book

Virginia Starkes' family bible. Virginia and James Starkes built their Woolen Mills Road house in 1890.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


In the case of a photograph made in a studio I presume the expense was more than nominal. Having a photo made with another person would be something to ponder. It wouldn't be done lightly. So who would a young woman have her picture taken with? Her cousin? Her sister. Above on the left, that is Virginia Starkes daughter Mamie. The other girl? I am thinking Lottie Starkes. Lottie moved away from the Place, moved out West.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

unknown 003

This woman appears repeatedly. Possibly Mamie Starkes older sister Lottie.

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