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  • Writer's pictureFrom Our Perspective

History Research - Continuous Updates

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Ladies and Gents,

This blog post will be dedicated to anything historical or cool we find out about the house. As we uncover more information we will update.


Today we received an initial copy of a history report of the house. The author was Ruth Lincoln Kaye. Mrs Kaye went through a lot of research to find out the history of 900 Franklin St House. We are trying to get a full copy of this report, when she passed away she left her research at the library here in Alexandria so a full copy is probably available. The one we were sent had some pages missing, so more on this later. But the report was quite detailed and traced back all of this history of the property from 1794 - 1989 when the report was written. We have a solid lineage of ownership from person to person from 1794 until today with Elizabeth.

John Gill – 1794 – 1804 *Land ($ unknown)

James Bruce Nickolls – 1804 – 1810 *Land ($ unknown)

Richard Veitch – November 6, 1810 -1817 Deed Lost *Land ($2,400 /$50k c2020)

James Hooe – 1810-1817 Deed Lost *land ($ unknown)

Augustine Smith - June 27th, 1817-1837 *Built the house(s) ($ Unknown)

Gilbert Beebe – October 14th, 1837 – 1841 records lost ($ unknown)

John Churchman – June 26th, 1841 -1869 *First mention of buildings on property ($1,200 /$35k c2020)

Thomas Pulman (other records show incorrectly Oliver Pulman 1877) - 1869 – 1883 ($2,500 / $47,500 c2020)

Samuel Pulman October 9th, 1883 – 1898 (rented to George Rodgers 1888-1898) (inherited)

George Rodgers – October 22nd, 1898 - 1910 ($650 / $20,250 c2020) **for house only

Joseph Rodgers – May 30th 1911 – 1948 (inherited)

March 1912 – asked for hydrant in yard

1926 – City started sewer lines for indoor plumbing

February 1930 - bathroom installed (p faucet, hose faucet, water closet)

1941 – Added sink and water closet

1954 – Water records show usage

Lula Rodgers 1948 – 1953 (inherited)

Georgia Ludicia Rodgers Bushby June 1st, 1953 – 1962 ($5,500 / $53,250 c2020)

Marie F Blunt November 12th, 1962 – 1977 ($4,400 / $37,500 c2020) House used as rental for 18 years multiple tenants

Robert Nicholas March 31st, 1977 – 1977 ($25,000 / $107k c2020)

Harvey Swan August 12th, 1977 – 1980 ($13,000 / $55,500 c2020) **assumed original deed

John T Winkler July 11th, 1980 – 1981 ($21,309 / $67k c2020)

Old Dominion Investment Group April 15th, 1981 – 1985 ($93,000 / $264k c2020) **House vacant Dec 1981

John T Winkler 1985 –

Unknown Sales October 1st, 1986 ($98,000 / $231k c2020) *10 of the original 12 row houses were demolished 2 still stand today. Our and 902.

Cheryl Ann Mach – January 6th, 1987 ($98,000 / $223k c2020)

Elizabeth McCeney – March 11th, 2020

Click to expand to see the entire image (not available on mobile)

In this report she mentioned she was able to see the building construction on an old fire insurance map. Here is that map.


Nana and Pawpaws old houses - Overlaid with Streets.

Nana grew up in a house on Duke Street. 1920 Duke Street. This house has been demolished and new high rise buildings and restaurants have been built there.

Pawpaw lived in a house 409 S West St that too has been demolished and new buildings built there.

You can see in this photo, There is a large house here where Nana wrote about a large house "that had 7 bedrooms and at least 10 other rooms."

Here is an older condo/apartment are where Pawpaw house was.This is the same location as below but an aerial view from 1988 you can see its old construction compared to the new above.

Because the cosmos act in mysterious ways Elizabeth and I were looking at the map and clicked "The Female Stranger" just to see what it was all about. When we clicked on the details, it is a grave stone in the cemetery. We saw the gravestone and next to it was a "Ballenger" this was Nana's family line.

But even weirder, the author of the historical report Ruth Kaye is buried right behind the Ballenger grave. Today we went walking around the cemetery with dog in tow, we stopped at the house where Pawpaw once lived. As I mentioned is has been demolished, but just inside the cemetery was a "Chichester" grave.

Images from our walk around town

This image circles around from the lot where Pawpaws house used to be, the brown 4 story brick building is where his house would have been. The grave is not easy to see, if you follow the head stones away from where I am standing starting at the one where the red flower heart is on the ground it is 2 head stones away and is perpendicular to the way you would be looking.


April 2nd 2020 - Update

I have been doing a lot of research on the property because I have had the time, work has crawled to a stand still because of Fucking Wuhan/Corona/COVID. If you recall from the history report a lot of the early transactions were for the land only. The assumed builder of the house was Augustine J Smith. He was pretty prominent here in the city, and owned a lot of land. He unlike a lot of the other owners of the land/house stuck around Alexandria until his death, and wouldn't you know it, he is buried right by the other graves from the other post! Such a small world.

Also in the same grave yard was an entire area of "Hooe" but I did not see the name of the owner that was apart of our house. More research on that to come.

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