Richmond's Food-Related Ghost Signs

A couple weeks ago I spent a Saturday afternoon chasing after ghost signs, faded hand-painted advertisements for everything from $0.10 coffee to warehouse services. Their painters were known as “Wall Dogs” and they did their best work between 1890-1960. Over the years most of these vintage landmarks have been painted over and forgotten. But I was on the hunt to find every food-related ghost sign Richmond had to offer. 

I was happy with my success.  I was able to photograph an decent collection of faded ads and even found a "milk building" and a 130 year-old beer cave along the way.

Ghost signs add texture to the urban landscape and tell a story about a neighborhood. They are shadows of simpler times and represent what makes Richmond so interesting – it’s a place where its residents embrace the past and find beauty in the imperfect. 

25th and Broad Street in Church Hill.  Uneeda Buscuits are the first cracker Nabisco ever made. Nabisco was orginial known as the National Biscuit Company.

25th and Broad Street in Church Hill.  Uneeda Buscuits are the first cracker Nabisco ever made. Nabisco was orginial known as the National Biscuit Company.

17th Street and East Grace Street in Shockoe Bottom. Weiman's Hearth Baked Bread is still in operation.

17th Street and East Grace Street in Shockoe Bottom. Weiman's Hearth Baked Bread is still in operation.

Also at 17th Street and East Grace Street in Shockoe Bottom.

Also at 17th Street and East Grace Street in Shockoe Bottom.

7-Up sign on Main and 22nd Street in Shockoe Bottom.

7-Up sign on Main and 22nd Street in Shockoe Bottom.

Pepsi sign in the Manchester district

Pepsi sign in the Manchester district

Coca Cola sign in Jackson Ward

Coca Cola sign in Jackson Ward

17th and Main in Shockoe Bottom

17th and Main in Shockoe Bottom

Cooking Supply Store in Jackson Ward

Cooking Supply Store in Jackson Ward

The Richmond Dairy Company building on West Marshall Street in Jackson Ward.  The building was errected in 1913 and has been converted into apartments.

The Richmond Dairy Company building on West Marshall Street in Jackson Ward.  The building was errected in 1913 and has been converted into apartments.

This beer cave is located in Rocketts Landing next to the James River. This cave belonged to the James River Steam Brewery, which was founded by D.G Yuengling Jr, in the 1860's.

This beer cave is located in Rocketts Landing next to the James River. This cave belonged to the James River Steam Brewery, which was founded by D.G Yuengling Jr, in the 1860's.