Richmond has a wide variety of historical lessons for all types of people. Deaf people were no different. Began in the early 1800s, Richmond is also the place where the first private deaf school in North America was established by William Bolling and John Braidwood. It was a school that does not advocate the use of sign language. Even the school was short-lived; Richmond has the distinction of being like that.
As for RCD, the information on the beginning of RCD is vague as many its history is based on storytelling. It was said that deaf people tends to congregate on Broad Street by the old greyhound station by City Hall. It was also the site where some deaf peddlers actively pushed for their peddling business.
This created a rift between two deaf groups, pro-peddling and anti-peddling. The ones that does not want to do anything with peddling business went ahead and found a hall where Deaf people can meet, socialize, dance and play in a safe place. They found it on 209-211 East Broad Street.
In that building, RCD has a storied & long history through storytelling. Some said that RCD was started in 1945 but was formally organized on October 14, 1947, eventually incorporated on January 25, 1979.
So many things has happened between 1945 to present, RCD has hosted many parties, events, meetings, movie nights, celebrations, social nights, religious functions and yes, organize the recreational sports activities such as bowling, baseball, softball & basketball for Deaf people to play.
Whenever an out of town Deaf visitor comes to Richmond, they come to RCD. It was the place to be.
Whenever hearing person who wanted to learn sign language, they come to RCD. It was the place to be.
RCD was, is and will be the place to be for Deaf people who enjoys socializing with each other.
Since 1987, RCD has lost its home at 209-211 East Broad St and ever since, it has been without a home of its own. For years, RCD was grateful of several locations that allows us to use their hall so that RCD can continue to provide a place for Deaf people to congregate. Despite the fact that RCD is without a home, RCD remains steadfast with more than 150 members.