From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/22/1916, p. 12, c. 5
CHILDREN TO PLAY WHERE OLD PRISON ONCE STOOD
Formal Opening of Seabrook Athletic Field Takes Place Tomorrow Afternoon.
WILL SERVE LARGE COMMUNITY
Committee on Recreation and Play Grounds Plans Survey of Richmond to Co-Ordinate Forces Working for Welfare of Children.
Filling a long-felt need of adequate recreational advantages for the children in the middle section of the East End and bringing to a successful culmination the united efforts of the Tuesday Club of the Railroad Young Men’s Christian Association and the committee on recreation and play grounds, the city on to-morrow afternoon at 4 o’clock will throw open a new playground on the location of the old Seabrook Tobacco Warehouse, on Grace Street, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Street.
The occasion will be a gala one for the children and their parents. Mayor Ainslie, Chairman John Hirschberg, of the Administrative Board, and Secretary S. L. Thomas, of the Railroad Young Men’s Christian Association, have consented to deliver addresses, and the Boy Scouts will give a demonstration under the direction of Robert W. Miles, Jr., director of playgrounds. To-day the Scouts will distribute among the children of that section 5,000 posters announcing the opening of the playground.
The new recreation field, which will supply playing ground to the children between Sixteenth and Twenty-third and Main and Broad Streets and will be placed in charge of Viera Ramos, was equipped at a cost of $500, the Administrative Board paying half of this amount and the Tuesday Club the other half. It is the only place of the kind between Chimborazo Park, in the East, and Clark Springs, in the West.
WILL ROMP ON SITE OF OLD WAREHOUSE AND PRISON
Where the kiddies will romp, there stood in the old days the Seabrook Tobacco Warehouse. During the War Between the States, when the storm of battle raged around Richmond, this building was utilized in some way by the Confederate government, either as a hospital or as a detention house. Later, on its acquirement by the municipality, it was rented by the city to tobacco dealers who stored their hogsheads there. It was for some time used as a temporary jail. Several years ago the building inspector declared it unsafe and the historic old pile was torn down. Since that time the committee on recreation and playgrounds has agitated the question of equipping a city playground on the location.
For the purpose of making a survey of playgrounds in Richmond and of coordinating the forces working for recreational advantages to the children, the committee is now sending out appeals for a fund of $300, to be used in securing the services of T. S. Settle, field secretary of the American Playground and Recreation Association. Mr. Settle comes to Richmond at the end of the month to address the State Educational Association. He has been peculiarly successful in this line of work.
Playgrounds had their beginning in Richmond in 1904, when one was established at Nineteenth and Main Streets. Three years later, the city took the matter in hand. There are now nine in Richmond.
The committee on recreation and playgrounds is composed of the following: L. McK. Judkins, chairman; W. M. Addison, J. St. George Bryan, T. M. Carrington, J. A. C. Chandler, Charles B. Cooke, J. G. Corley, W. T. Dabney, Frank W. Duke, W. D. Duke, Julien H. Hill, secretary and treasurer; William Todd, W. W. Gillette, Charles Hutzler, J. Scott Parrish, Dr. Frank M. Reade, Henry W. Rountree, E. Randolph Williams, R. L. Peters.