Staying Power

Rountree’s luggage is still first in its class for travel.

Back in the days before you said goodbye to your suitcase at an automated carousel, travel seemed so much more civilized. No one dreamed of hoisting a steamer trunk onto a metal cart, wedged among any manner of bags and suitcases. In fact, no one dreamed of hoisting anything back then. It was done for them. And luggage was as much a fine accoutrement as it was practical.

For generations, Richmonders relied on one place for proper travel gear: Rountree’s. Its leather valises and trunks were once hallmarks of the well-traveled and the well-heeled, Rountree’s having established a reputation for lasting quality soon after opening its doors in 1875 on Richmond’s West Franklin Street. Established as H.W. Rountrees & Bro. Trunks, Bags and Valises, the company quickly grew into a million-dollar manufacturing and wholesale business, spurred in 1879 by a patent for its famous roller tray trunks. By the end of World War I, Rountree’s had expanded into a significant retail operation, adding stores in Atlanta and Norfolk.

Seventy-five years later, Rountree’s was no longer a family business, and the Atlanta and Norfolk stores were gone. Now Rountree’s no longer manufactures travel goods, instead retailing a wide variety of name brand lines in its Richmond, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach stores. But the name still rides on the reputation established by the Rountree family more than a century ago. Today, when pleather and polyurethane have made leather a difficult find on the marketplace, Rountree’s Luggage Co. is still the place to go when you want the real thing. HWRountrees.com

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