The R.J. Reynolds and Katharine Smith Reynolds Correspondence is part of the larger Reynolds Family Papers, 1787-1973 (Bulk 1904-1925), held at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. A vital player in the industrialization of the New South, Richard Joshua Reynolds (1850-1918) opened a tobacco factory in Winston-Salem in 1875 that would go on to be known as the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, producer of Prince Albert tobacco and Camel cigarettes. Introductions of new tobacco blends and innovation in advertising made Reynolds Tobacco a leader in the industry. In 1905, Reynolds married Katharine Smith (1880-1924); the couple had four children Dick, Mary, Nancy, and Smith. Katharine Smith Reynolds proved to be just as shrewd and ambitious as her husband and was the driving force in envisioning Reynolda, their 1,000-acre Winston-Salem estate. Part of the American Country Place movement, Reynolda, constructed from 1912-1917 by architect Charles Barton Keen and landscape architect Thomas Sears, consisted of a 60-room bungalow, formal gardens, Reynolda Village (home to the estate’s workers), recreational facilities, and a model farm where local farmers could learn progressive techniques in agriculture, dairying, livestock raising, and horticulture.
The majority of the correspondence series regards Katharine Smith Reynolds’ interactions with architects, landscape architects, designers, merchants, employees, family, and friends. Other items of note in the collection contain information on the tobacco industry and the Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House Museum of American Art can be contacted directly for more information about the collection.