Includes correspondence, accounts, day books, ledgers, cash books, invoice books, inventory books, money letterbooks, and freight books concerning the general merchandise operations (i.e., hardware, lumber, fertilizer, and grain) of Hopkins & Bro. and Stephen Hopkins & Son, Onancock, Va., and T. S. Hopkins & Company, Tasley, Va.
Also, includes the log, 1839, of the ship, "Patrick Henry"; barrel books, 1879-1921, and day book, 1904-1907, of the Eastern Shore Barrel Company, Onancock, Va.; and an account book, 1915-1921, of Thomas S. Hopkins concerning the estate of John Parker Lee Hopkins.
Gift of Addison Finney Hopkins, Onancock, Va., in 1966 and 1967.
On January 1, 1842, Captain Stephen Hopkins (1793?-1868) opened a store, wharf and warehouse in Onancock, Va. Operating first under the name Stephen Hopkins & Son and later as Hopkins & Bro., the store was a center for commercial activity on the Eastern Shore for 125 years, run successively by William H. A. Hopkins and John P. L. Hopkins, Edward W. Hopkins, Robert S. Hopkins, William S. Hopkins, Thomas S. Hopkins, and Addison F. Hopkins.
The store was located on Onancock Creek, one of the two deep water creeks on the Eastern Shore. At first the store’s chief business was to purchase and transport by water grains and other agricultural products grown on the Eastern Shore to the ports of Baltimore, New York, and Charleston, and to import for sale the necessities of daily life not locally available. Also available for purchase were coal and other fuels, fertilizers, hardware and agricultural tools. In addition, the company loaned money and served as the community’s first bank. The company owned its own fleet of cargo ships until it signed an agreement with the Eastern Shore Steamboat Company in 1878, leasing the wharf to and serving as an agent of the steamboat company and its successor, the Baltimore and Virginia Steamboat Company, until service was discontinued in 1935.
Also included are records of T. S. Hopkins & Co., a branch store established in Tasley, Va., by Thomas S. Hopkins (1866?-1942), grandson of Stephen Hopkins; and of the Eastern Shore Barrel Company, 1879-1921. The Tasley store was dissolved ca. 1923.
Hopkins & Bro. ceased operation in 1966, and with the death in 1970 of the last owner of the property, it was given to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. The company’s records were in turn given to the Virginia Historical Society for preservation.