The stemmery.

This corbeled chimney is all that remains of the stemmery that stood at the corner of Railroad and Stemmery Streets. A stemmery was a factory in which stems were stripped from cured leaves prior to processing for shipment to companies that manufactured tobacco products.  Stemmeries provided seasonal employment to thousands of African-Americans, mostly women, an the small streets around it were lined with worker housing.

The original facility at this location, erected by Richmond Maury & Company in 1896, burned in 1920. It was replaced by a three-story building in 1922. This chimney vented smoke from the boiler room that powered the plant. A succession of tobacco companies operated this stemming and re-drying facility until 1973, when Montrose Hanger Company moved in.  Montrose Hander operated into the twenty-first century, but had long vacated the building when it was razed about 2012.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

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