From the Archives: VCU history alumna Nicole Kappatos digs up great stories from Richmond’s past for the Richmond Times-Dispatch

‘I am here to share the archives with the world and with Richmond,’ said Nicole Kappatos, newsroom researcher and archivist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Have you heard the story of how in the summer of 1935 Richmond was enthralled by reports of a monster named “Elmer” that was thumping under the floorboards and behind the walls of a Grace Street row house on what is now Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus?

How about when a lion, “Tricky Gilbert,” escaped from a circus parade in 1934 and rampaged through Richmond neighborhoods before being shot to death by two local men and city police?

Or what about the house built in 1895 on Sharp’s Island in the James River, just off the 14th Street Bridge, that served as a family’s bizarre vacation getaway in the 1950s?

These stories – and many more – have been brought back to life by the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s newsroom researcher and archivist, Nicole Kappatos (M.A.’14/H&S).

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