Pictures from Terry Fertilizer Warehouse, Chatham, Virginia

Terry Fertilizer Warehouse

Terry Fertilizer Warehouse, on Va. 57 (Depot Street) on the west side of the railroad tracks (see the line of boxcars in the distant background). Of the five figures in the picture, only the identity of the gentleman in the center is known: Charlie Terry, proprietor of the warehouse. (The photograph is from the collection of the late Garland Turner, nephew of Charlie Terry. The photo was taken by W. E. Grinnell, American Cyanamid Co., 635 Fifth Avenue, New York City, on March 20, 1930. All photographs from the Garland Turner collection are included here with the permission and assistance of Mrs. Garland Turner.)

Terry Fertilizer Warehouse

This interior view is thought to be from around 1930. (The photograph is from the collection of the late Garland Turner.)

Fertilizer train

From the early 1920's, this photograph depicts a train with 30 cars of fertilizer in 200-pound sacks being delivered to the Terry Fertilizer Warehouse. (The photograph is from the collection of the late Garland Turner.)

At the delivery

From the left center of the train photograph above is extracted this detail. The nine figures are, from left: a fireman, unknown, Monroe Barker, Charlie Terry, unknown, Pomp Jennings (Blairs agent of the Terry Warehouse), unknown, Hopson Norvell (standing in doorway of cab), unknown.

Sims House

From the upper left center of the train photograph above is extracted this detail of the Sims-Mitchell House.

Fertilizer train

The same train as shown above, but now moved slightly farther south along the tracks.(The photograph is from the collection of the late Garland Turner.)

William F. "Bro" Overbey, born in Chatham and now a Richmond resident, points out (12/2001) the water tower to the left of the tracks, where the engines took on water. He recalls that during that period if he and his friends lingered near the tower "a fireman with a good humor would give us a shower/bath while he was taking on water!" Overbey also recalls that on this downhill grade on the southbound track, the stationmaster attached railway torpedoes to the track, which fired as the train ran over them, giving a slow-down signal to the engineers. "The torpedoes were attached to the rails with lead straps," says Overbey, and explains that after the charges went off, the straps were left among the tracks. "We picked up the straps and used them for fishing sinkers when we walked down to go fishing in Cherrystone Creek." Overbey also notes the telegraph lines and poles evident in the photograph, "one wire for each distant station on the rail line." Bro and his friends frequented this section of track as they walked from Whittletown, past the Sims-Mitchell House downhill, across the tracks, and toward Cherrystone Creek (off to the left from this view) for fishing and swimming.


From the far left of the second train photograph, immediately above, is extracted this detail of trackside activity with the Guyer-Lacks and Guyer-Ward houses along lower Whittle Street seen above. Roger Boswell of Chatham identifies the large building in the lower portion of the image as the freight depot, a frame building in comparison to the passenger depot's brick construction. The freight depot no longer exists.

Bro Overbey observes (12/01) in that this picture there "appears to be a dray drawn by mules and in the background,a [Ford] T model truck that is configured to be at a loading dock or entrance way."

This website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House B&B, Chatham, Virginia.