Birdville was annexed to Petersburg in 1816 and remained undeveloped into the 1870's, except for the City Almshouse and the cemeteries which have since been removed. By the early 1900's, it had become a predominantly black working-class residential community adjacent to an industrial area. Many of its residents worked at the tobacco storage sheds off the Atlantic Coastline Railroad spurs. In the 1920's, the Crowder Memorial Hospital was located in the vicinity of the oval on Augusta Avenue. Also known as "Dr. Burton's hospital," it served the needs of Petersburg's black community. In the 1930's, the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company was located on West Avenue. In the 1950's, Birdville expanded northward with the development of Westview, the city's first planned residential development for middle-class blacks.
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