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Chapter 14 - The Valentine

Pat and Ann entered the grounds of the Valentine Museum through a white-painted brick archway off North Tenth Street.

 

The Valentine, established in 1892, showcased Richmond’s history and was named after Mann S. Valentine, Jr., the institution’s original benefactor who had made a fortune selling a beef-juice tonic. The museum also went by the name of the Valentine Richmond History Center to prevent confusion among tourists hoping to see cupid-related artifacts.

 

The couple went into the museum’s café, purchased their food, and took it outside, walking past the sculpture studio of Edward Valentine.

 

The studio held the model for the “Recumbent Statue”
of Robert E. Lee asleep on the battlefield, installed in the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University, where Lee was buried beneath.

 

Pat and Ann maneuvered through a garden of boxwoods and sculptures below the terrace of the 1812 Wickham-Valentine House, a white Federal-style mansion, donated by Mann to the museum.

 

They found a table under the shade of an old magnolia tree in bloom,

 

beside a flowing triple-layered iron fountain encircled by iron ducks waddling around its base.

 

As the pair enjoyed their meal, Mary Beth appeared on the white-columned veranda of the house in a hooped dress and did a double take when she spotted the couple.

The Valentine

Wickham-Valentine House