The Packard Stamps & Rocks Story
In 1928, my father, G. James Packard, started selling stamps and covers under the name Packard Stamp Company. He was only 15 years old and had made a rubber stamp that said "Packard Stamp Company." (I have one example of this usage.) My mother began collecting stamps when she was 10 years old in 1925. Alice and Jim married in 1935 and registered "Packard Stamp Company" as a business in Albany, NY the next year. In 1962 my mother rented a small store in the village of Midlothian, VA and Jim helped her when he could.
A family friend, Brenda Irons, introduced us to rock collecting with things she learned from an uncle. While picnicking in Amelia she made some interesting finds. Later on a trip to the Adirondacks, Brenda got us again! We pulled into a restaurant parking lot and she began collecting "garnets." We followed, all but "Pop" (G James) who went on into the diner and told the waitress the others of us were picking up broken beer bottle fragments and calling them garnets. Turns out the driveway was paved in the tailings from the Barton Garnet mine which produced 90% of the world's industrial garnets. And our collecting days began....
On a VA rock collecting trip to the Rose River my brother, Bill, told, Izzy, she could bring only one more rock home. Later she told him she had chosen. It was to be the 200 lb piece of unakite she was sitting on.
After great effort, it became a feature of the yard; but, Bill, said he would be more careful about giving permission to, Izzy, to haul such monuments in the future. As our family began to collect rocks we added THEM to our inventory. Soon we were forced into larger spaces 3 more times. And in 1985 we purchased the current shop at 13131 Midlothian Tnpk. to become our permanent location and expansion at this location is underway today. We remain on US 60 just a few hundred yards closer to Richmond despite all that growth over the years.
The shop is now managed by sons, David and Jim, grandchildren, Mark and Kathy, and a lot of help from our friends. Alice lived to be 102 years old and was very proud of the success that she had created and was still participating in the day-to-day activity when she passed. As I write this we have just entertained a new group of youngsters-seven Girl Scouts destined to become the next jewelry makers, rock collectors, lapidary's, stamp collectors, and leaders of this great country.
Not a hoarder,
Packard’s Rock Shop & Stamp Company
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