Do you know about the South Richmond mummy?

Feb 25, 2024 | by

It’s simple story of a man found dead in a box car in 1922, who was embalmed, became a mummy, and was kept low-key on display at a Manchester funeral home for 36 years:

Railway repair workers found him on Feb. 3, 1922, neatly dressed and hanging inside a sidetracked boxcar at the Atlantic Coast Line yards near Clopton, then in Chesterfield County. A bundle beneath his dangling feet indicated him as a “traveler,” the newspapers reported. He was in his 50s, gray-haired, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and he weighed about 150 pounds.


“It was kind of a weird South Side thing,” he says. “People who went to Bainbridge Middle [School] know more about him than anybody. They’d come out of curiosity, ‘Let’s scare my sister,’ kind of thing. Regulations were just different then.”

(Props to Harry Kollatz for having ALL the good stories. My uncle who was born in 1934 and grew up in the area told me about Smoky Joe over Thanksgiving one year & and when I went looking of course Harry had the story.)

(Also that pic up top is NOT the box car they found him in. Or at least as far as I know.)

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