Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Craddock-Terry Records Walk on over to the VHS

Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Craddock-Terry Records Walk on over to the VHS

Article excerpt

Early in 2007, Senior Archivist E. Lee Shepard answered one of those telephone calls that curators love to receive. Douglas Harvey of the Lynchburg Museum System was on the line to alert us to a large collection of records of the Craddock-Terry Shoe Company, once the largest employer in Lynchburg. Craddock-Terry lines of boots and shoes, such as Natural Bridge, American Gentleman, and Billiken, were mainstays in the national footwear market for decades. The opportunity to secure the company's records for the VHS's Reynolds Business History Center proved both welcome and timely.

The records were scattered in a number of locations. Some had been salvaged from the corporate headquarters by a former company officer, Gordon Hobbs, and placed in the temporary care of the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg. A few others were in private hands, and a large cache remained in one of the old factory buildings scheduled for complete renovation. VHS archivists had to act fast. With the crucial assistance of Harvey and Wayne Rhoades of the Jones Library, we brought a truckload of materials to Richmond to reconstitute the company archives.

Comprising board of directors minute books, sales records, promotional materials, factory records, photographs, and a host of other materials, the collection preserves in marvelous detail the history of one of Piedmont Virginia's most significant businesses. …

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