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Who was Madge Goodrich?

The Library of Virginia has a digitized collection of just over 100 photos from around the Church Hill area in 1936/1937 by Madge Goodrich. (ABOVE: 316 North 24th Street)

Taken 13 years prior to the publication of Mary Wingfield Scott’s Old Richmond Neighborhoods, these early photographs are part of the Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Commission. The photos are accompanied by research on each of the properties delineating the history of the house and the land, in some cases going back to the 1600s.

Madge Vriehuis Knevels Goodrich also turns up as having done Survey Reports on both the Hebrew Cemetery and Shockoe Cemetery ([1] [2] [3]) in the spring of 1936. An author as well, 1929 Goodrich published A Bibliography of Michigan Authors. The Library of Virginia also holds a copy of Goodrich’s unpublished The Mayors of Richmond (1937).

I’m not sure where to look to figure out who Goodrich was, though – her position, how she came to be at this place at this time to pull all of this together, etc.





2501 east grace

621 north 28th - St. Peter’s colored chapel


Bryan 11/28/2009 at 3:44 PM

Great pictures! I haven’t heard of Madge Goodrich, but maybe the Valentine Richmond History Center would have some info on her and her career.

Bill Conkle 11/28/2009 at 4:09 PM

Great pictures and a wonderful history attached to each. Who was Madge Goodrich and why are we just hearing about her historical research??

Right on Broad 11/28/2009 at 6:23 PM

There is another collection of photographs by an amateur female photographer named Shelton at the Valentine. Just seemed to roam around on foot, photographing whatever struck her fancy circa 1940s – early 1960s. These are terrific, although completely unused, resources for the history heads among us.

And you know who you are.

Ryan Ramsey 11/30/2009 at 8:53 AM

Wow, 623&621 North 30th Street were stunning structures. It’s sad to see them now under renovation…the building permit is calling for vinyl siding! Look at the beautiful brick. It’s renovations like these that I wish the old and historic district encomassed the 600 block of North 30th Street.

Lora 11/30/2009 at 12:12 PM

John, The WPA employed a lot of writers during the Great Depression to do things like historical surveys, travel guides, etc. From the sound of it, she was good at researching and handy with a camera, so she would have been a good candidate for this kind of job.

Bill Conkle 01/07/2010 at 5:11 PM

Does anyone know if the Saint Peter’s Colored Chapel was associated with another church. Perhaps Saint Peter’s Catholic Church at 8th and Grace? Or Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church at 1719 N 22nd Street?

Eric Huffstutler 06/15/2017 at 2:12 AM

A day late and a dollar short but I am sure someone will benefit from this reply about Madge Goodrich?

Margaret “Madge” Vriehuis Knevels Goodrich was born November 10, 1875 in Three Rivers, Michigan and died April 19, 1961 in Richmond, Virginia (buried at Riverview Cemetery). She was married to James Philo Goodrich (1873-1935).

Goodrich was the librarian at St. Catherine School. She also worked with the WPA Historical Inventory.

As far as circumstances leading up to her interest in the inventory, possibly a grandchild may know as she only had 2 stepchildren who are both deceased. Goodrich’s obituary was short and had no leads.


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