- Bellevue History
- In the summer of 1888, the legendary Richmond entrepreneur and “cigarette king,” Lewis Ginter, took a first-class ocean voyage to Australia. While exhibiting goods of the Allen & Ginter tobacco firm at the World’s Fair in Melbourne, he witnessed some of the most beautiful and stately streetcar suburbs in the world. They profoundly inspired him.
Meanwhile, the Westbrook plantation home in Richmond went up for auction, which was on the site of today’s Westminster Canterbury. Ginter’s loyal business partner and close companion of 15 years, John Pope, was the highest bidder on what would become the pair’s country retreat.
These wealthy men, always looking for ways to improve Richmond, were working a much bigger plan – albeit from opposite sides of the globe. And the stars were in perfect alignment for their plan. For one thing, post-Civil War Richmond was finally on a steady path to growth. Secondly, Richmond had just become the first American city with a successful electric streetcar system. Thirdly, Richmond’s inner city was overcrowded and unsanitary. And, fourthly, amidst a real estate boom, there was a new national movement to create the “ideal suburb.” So, Ginter and Pope – together with Joseph Bryan of Laburnum and several of their cohorts – decided to develop streetcar suburbs near Westbrook. And they wanted those suburbs to be the best in every way.
Right after Ginter returned from Australia, he and Pope began buying up land on both sides of Brook Turnpike, today’s Brook Road. In December of 1888, John Pope purchased a 118-acre market farm along the west side of Brook Turnpike, called “Hickory Hill,” and the next month he purchased an adjoining 42-acre parcel. Together, these two tracts comprised the land bordered by today’s Westbrook Avenue, Hermitage Road, Bellevue Avenue and Brook Road – the land that was destined to become Bellevue.
In the late-19th century, large-scale suburban development was a protracted endeavor, especially for high-minded men like Ginter and Pope. Starting with a blank slate, they wanted to make their creation stylish, beautiful and brimming with amenities.
When Pope purchased the Bellevue acreage, it was farmland – established for at least a century. Tobacco was probably grown first, and transported by horse-drawn cart to Richmond. But by the early 1850s, the main crop was wheat. It was no doubt taken to Richmond’s towering, world-renowned mills, with the flour transported by ship to South America, Europe and the Caribbean. Slaves worked the crops and did the lion’s share of the manual labor in getting it to market.
Then, in January of 1861 – on the eve of the Civil War – an unlikely fate befell the owner of “Hickory Hill.” John O. Taylor got into a disagreement with a confused elderly man over rights to a slave girl named Violet, and Taylor ended up getting shot. He died at his farmhouse about two weeks later. His wife and young daughter kept the farm, and tried to move forward.
During the war, columns of Confederate troops marched by “Hickory Hill” northward from Richmond along Brook Road, then known as the Brook Plank Road. There were also mounted cavalry by the thousands, led by Major General J.E.B. Stuart. All these men were being deployed far and wide to help protect the Confederate Capitol from siege by Union troops. On occasion, those troops managed to venture past the city’s outer defenses and into the area – most notably during the Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Raid in March of 1864. According to the Richmond Dispatch, Union troops set up eight cannon on Mrs. Taylor’s farm and exchanged fire with Confederates at the intermediate defenses (near today’s Confederate Avenue). The raid didn’t come off as planned, and within four hours the Union troops retreated. As they went, they committed “wanton outrages” in the area – stealing horses, carriages and slaves, as well as shelling Laburnum.
Finally, in April of 1865, the long and bloody war was over. And so was slavery.
By the early 1880s, “Hickory Hill” had been sold several times and boasted the “largest orchard of selected and choice fruits probably in the state.” It also had large crops of strawberries, raspberries and corn. When Pope came into the picture in 1888, he purchased the farm – crops and all.
Together with Ginter, he decided to name his development “Bellevue,” which in French means “beautiful view.” By design, the name had an air of sophistication. Ginter may have been inspired by Australia’s Bellevue Hill, an affluent suburb with lavish villas and commanding views of Sydney Harbor.
Pope and the other investors formally chartered their land development company in 1891, calling it the Sherwood Land Company. Ginter was president, and Pope was secretary/treasurer.
In the early 1890s, Ginter macademized Brook Road and lined it with hundreds of trees. The road was hailed far and wide as one the smoothest and most beautiful anywhere. Ginter apparently built the area’s first grocery, Brook Store, at Bellevue and Brook Roads.
The work on Bellevue itself began around 1894, when Pope and Ginter had the Bellevue Arch constructed as an imposing and welcoming entrance to the enclave. It was true to the ideology of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, which, with its model city, sparked the City Beautiful Movement. The granite used in the Arch likely originated from Ginter’s nearby quarry, the source for his road metal. From there, the stone was transported by narrow-gauge rail using “The Barbara,” a steam locomotive Ginter had ordered from Richmond Locomotive and Machine Works. He was a director and large stockholder in the company.
As early as February of 1896, Ginter had streetcars running on Chamberlayne Avenue and Brook Turnpike. Shortly thereafter, they ran along Hermitage Road as well.
Having completed the Bellevue Arch, as well as a new road winding its way through the property, John Pope seemed off to an impressive start. But fate intervened. In 1896, the hard-toiling Pope died of a throat infection at just 39 years of age. His death left Ginter “bowed down in grief” and in rapidly declining health from diabetes. He was never the same man, and died the following year.
Now, it was up to others to carry out Ginter and Pope’s mission.
As for Bellevue, it had passed to John Pope’s brother, George. He lived in Brooklyn, New York. He mapped out home lots and streets in the portion west of today’s Crestwood Road – which was to be called Bellevue Park – but he too died before it got off the ground. The land then passed to another sibling, Margaret Pope. She soon sold it out of necessity.
Ginter Park, located east of Brook Road, started taking off in 1908 through the work of Ginter’s heirs and others. But Bellevue didn’t blossom as a middle class suburb until the 1920s. Its success was assured by the burgeoning middle class and the arrival of the convenient automobile. Bellevue’s developers were the Davis brothers, one of whom had staked out his own small farm on the property, called “Willowbrook,” located on Hermitage Road south of Westbrook Avenue. Developed concurrently with Bellevue was Brookdale, which is popularly considered part of the Bellevue district. In the 1940s, the north side’s streetcars got scrapped. Rumor has it that the metal was converted into bombs for use during World War II.
By the late ‘40s, most of the homes in Bellevue had been built, evincing a rich mix of architectural styles. They include Bungalow, American Foursquare, Shingle Style, Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival. The largest and most impressive homes line Pope Avenue, which was named in honor of John Pope – extraordinary businessman, civic-minded citizen, philanthropist, and Father of Bellevue.
- Historic Stories
- Elizabeth Kambourian shared the following with us: I’m doing some newspaper research on a murder in Richmond in 1925. I keep running into enticing ads for houses being built in this neighborhood. I have also been collecting other pictures from long ago, of local houses. I am attaching 2 ads for houses in Brookdale (my section). Bellevue is a section bounded by Bellevue, Westbrood, Brook and Hermitate. Brookdale is bounded by Laburnum, Brook, Bellevue and MacArthur. This, of course, is nit-picking…
The ad for the “Laburnum Section” describes my house, and no doubt the 10,000 other Four-squares in the area. The daughter-in-law of the man who built my house told me he paid $8,000 for it in 1925. The ad with the drawing has an exact house in it, on Brook Rd. All these Tudor houses (practically) were built by Muhleman & Kayhoe. Many of the Four-Squares were built by the “City Building Company”.
Below is another ad from early Bellevue. The golf course in Bryan Park is not a new idea…
- Claremont Circus
- Elizabeth Kambourian writes:
I’ve attached a photo taken in 1930 behind 1417 Claremont Ave. It appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It is a group of neighborhood kids who had put on a circus. My mother (Mrs. Cann) is the third from the left (Peggy Duffy). The text part is damaged, but here is what it says: “[ ] crowd of [ ]ers recently entertained their neighborhood with [ ]ppy “Whoopie Circus,” staged the show all by themselves. They are, left to right: Ann Katherine Lewis, Edward Saxby, Peggy Duffy, Frank Wade, Jr., Emily Gardner, Elizabeth Wade, Mary Frances Matthews, Richard Elam, Wally Riddell, Jack O’Brien, Billy Elam and James Delapapa. They live in and about Claremont Street.”
Notice the arched porch on the Four-Square in the background? It would be on the even numbered side of the 1400 of Claremont. My mother distinctly remembers the address of this house is 1417 Claremont. Richmond Times-Dispatch — 1930 (picture taken behind 1417 Claremont Ave.)
- Plat of Bellevue ca. 1822
- Elizabeth Kambourian has collected plats of the area to produce a picture of Bellevue ca. 1822. Elizabeth says: This is three plats in one. I patched together 2 plats of Westbrook and one of Quincy, to show the whole neighborhood. If you wonder why the street names look funny for Nottoway, Claremont, Avondale and Greycourt, it is because when the neighborhood was laid out in 1904 they had to put a dog-leg in the streets, so they don’t go straight across like the lines on the 1822 plat. I think they started the dog-leg at Claremont and Fauquier to avoid the slave graveyard, and had to carry it through on the rest of the streets. Fauquier is not on the 1822 plat, but is on Civil War maps, and was probably a cut-through. It nearly lines up with Crestwood, which is on the 1815 plat of Westbrook. Westbrook was in two parts, and that was the dividing line. Laburnum Ave. has been the front line of the Quincy farm from the beginning. It was the line between Obadiah Smith and Wm. Byrd in 1745 (give or take a few feet). MacArthur Ave is the center dividing line on the 4 sections shown on the 1822 Plat of Quincy. I think it was the access road to the main house, which was probably in or around the 1400 block of Avondale Ave.
- Chain of title to lot 15, block s, in the plan of Brookdale, and by inference, bellevue
- This traces the land which encompasses Laburnum, Hermitage, Brook, and Westbrook. In 1800, the year of the Gabriel Conspiracy, it was owned by Jacob Smith’s widow. I have italicized and done in bold the names of the slaves involved in the conspiracy. At the end of the title search, I have put documents proving the slave George Smith was the first conspirator, and that he was owned by Ann Smith, widow of Jacob Smith of Henrico County. [You may already know that this neighborhood was part of Henrico until well into the 20th century.]
Later in title search, the focus is Brookdale, which is bounded by MacArthur Ave. on the west. However, you will see the original property was several hundred acres. In 1800, at the time of the Gabriel Rebellion, it was 100 acres. This is the complete listing of links in the search, from me back to 1692. It would always include Brookdale, but drops the area west of MacArthur and north of Bellevue in 1902. That doesn’t affect the time period which gives the historical importance, however.
Note: The title search begins with the will of Obadiah Smith in 1746. I have included my research on the land, and how Obadiah got it. The title search picks up at his death. 1
1692, June 3: Charles City County Court at Westover appointed Obadiah Smith and his sister Mary as joint executors for the estate of their father, John Smith of Turkey Island estate. [Chas. City Co. Order Bk. 1687-95, pg. 126, 130]
1705: Obadiah Smith of Charles City County owned 200 acres in Henrico County.
1716: Thomas Pleasants sold Obadiah Smith 300 acres in Henrico County on the south side of the Chickahominy Swamp, bounded by the Cattail Swamp and the meadows. John Pleasants sold Obadiah Smith 600 acres in Henrico County, the original Patent of John Woodson, Sr. dated Oct. 23, 1690. EK note: This tract included the present land from the State Fairgrounds north to the Hanover County Line – tracts known as Pickanocky and Half Sink.
1746: June. Henrico County Court. Will of Obadiah Smith.
TITLE SEARCH: “Among other devises he gave to his son, Jacb Smith, 300 acres of land, more or less, bounded by Brook Road, Col. Byrd’s land, John Branch’s, [sic], and lands of John Price, Thomas Williamson and Mr. Richardson’s, of which, land in caption is a portion.”
ORIGINAL WILL: “. . . Son Jacob: 300 acres, the remainder of above tract above the Brook road, lying and bending as follows: Beginning on John Cannon’s line on Brook Road, down the said line to Col. Byrd’s line, up the same to John’s Branch, down the branch to John Price’s line, thence, to John Williamson’s line, and along the same to Mr. Richardson’s line to the road and down the road to the beginning.” EK Note: Richardson’s land is part of Brook Hill. Col. Byrd’s land was bounded on the north near Confederate Avenue. John Branch’s should read (as in original document) John’s Branch, meaning the creek in 1999 Bryan Park. This was an error on the part of the person doing the title search in 1918.] John Price, in Lakeside, west of Hermitage Rd.John Williamson: Brook Hill.
Title Search – 1791: Jacob Smith “Devises to his son, Obadiah Smith, 400 acres absolutely, and also land on which he lived, consisting of about 200 acres, subject to life estate of his wife, Ann Smith.
ORIGINAL WILL OF JACOB SMITH: 1791
“. . . Item: to my son Obadiah, . . . After the death or widowhood of my wife the land where I now live and also the land I bought of Drury Wood adjoining Barret Price, the whole containing more or less 200 acres; also my blacksmith’s tools to him and his heirs forever; also one copper still. Item: to my wife Ann Smith, use of land where I live during her life and negroes: Harry, Will, Jack, Ursula, GEORGE, Lydia, Rachel, CHARLES, Hannah, Sandy, Agnes and her increase, and all of the rest of my Estate not before devised, my will is that she would …and after her death or marriage to go to whom they are given. If she remarry her share to be divided equally among her and 4 children: Jesse, Jacob, Mary A. Henley, Susanna Ellis.
1796: “Obadiah Smith, son of Jacob Smith, died intestate; leaving as his only heirs-at-law,his widow, Elizabeth and following children Jacob, Mary (wife of John Ryall), Elizabeth (wife of Lydall Bowles), Lucy (wife of John T. Hawkins) and Martin and Nancy Smith.” EK Note: His mother Ann Smith was still alive and living on the Quincy tract. She also still had possession of her late husband’s slaves, including Ursula and her children, George and Charles. Ann Smith died about 1802. Then the land was distributed to the children of her son, who had predeceased her, Obadiah Smith (Jr.)in 1796.
LINKS 4 – 7:
In several separate instruments, the children of Obadiah (Jr) Smith turn over their interest in the land to their brothers Jacob Smith and Martin Smith. However, there is a legal problem in the instrument that Lucy Smith Hawkins signed giving the property to her brothers.
The heirs of Lucy Hawkins sue for their deceased mother’s share of Obadiah (Jr.) Smiths land. The suit drags on until 1832. The heirs had all moved to Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1815 the courts ordered 44 acres be partitioned off of the tract for the heirs of Lucy Hawkins. The 44 acres consisted of a narrow strip of land running parallel and south of the 1999 Laburnum Avenue. From west to east the 44 acres began at Hermitage Rd. and ended at Brook Rd. The final partition and conveyance of the 44 acres was accomplished in 1821. Sept. 10, 1832 the heirs of Lucy Hawkins convey the land back to Jacob Smith and Martin Smith.
MARTIN SMITH’S WILL: Probated Nov. 1818. Conveyed to his brother Jacob Smith. Land description: . . . land where he lives to all that part round from a corner pine on Robert Gordon’s line *, along a line of marked trees to a corner poplar on a line to millpond branch, thence from the poplar to William Young’s line so as to include the meadow. . . . sister Nancy Smith have use of plantation whereon they now live, and is owned by myself and brother Jacob Smith . . . Note: Nancy Smith later married a man named Taylor. Civil War maps show the land near Pope Avenue as being Taylor property. Millpond Branch is same as John’s Branch (Princeton Creek). William Young was the owner of Westbrook, hence “Young’s Pond” in Bryan Park.
In July 1822 Jacob Smith sold the land to John Goddin. Recorded May 1, 1824. TITLE SEARCH: “Conveyed 50 acres fronting 36 poles and 22 links (203) yards on west line of Brook Road and running back along land allotted to Lucy Hawkins’ children, 220 poles on south line and 214 1/2 poles on north line to a road (now Hermitage Road). “This embraced part of land in caption.” EK note: Plat of Quincy made during the Smith v Hawkins Lawsuit. This is the “Quincy” part of the plat that is patched onto two separate plats of Westbrook. This is the one that is posted on the Bellevue site. THE ORIGINAL DEED: Jacob Smith to John Goddin
May 1, 1824:
Beginning at a stake on Brook Tnpk Rd. on the line of Martin Smith’s land possessed of John Hawkins and Lucy Smith, his wife, and running thence along the said land leaving the road south 89 3/4 degrees west 220 poles to Jacob Smith’s line, thence with his line north 42 degrees west, 2 poles, thence along a new chopt tree, due north 35 poles and 22 links or 197 1/2 yards to a stake and pointer, thence with another new line north, 86 3/4 degrees east 214 1/2 poles to a corner White Oak on the aforesaid road, thence along the said road south 9 degrees east 36 poles and 22 links or (203 yards) to the start.
May 20, 1833: HAWKINS TO GODDIN: The heirs of Lucy Hawkins deed over the 44 acres to John Goddin.
TITLE SEARCH: “The grantors by their attorney, in fact, Parry B. Hawkins conveyed the 44 acres of land above described and which came to them through suit above referred to. . . . This vested all of the land in caption in John Goddin.
Original Document: DATED 29 May 1833. “This Indenture made 20th May 1833 between Martin J. Hawkins; Elizabeth Hawkins. J. Hawkins, Rowland Hawkins of the state of Kentucky, James O. Hawkins, Parry B. Hawkins and Scott Hawkins of the State of Tennessee, of the first part and John Goddin of the City of Richmond of the second part. Witnesseth that the said Martin Hawkins et. al. for $880 from John Goddin…a certain parcel ofland lying and being in the County of Henrico consisting inpart of the land belonging to the estate of John Hawkins deceased, in sight of his wife Lucy Hawkins nee Smith, containing 44 acres, and lying as follows: Brook Turnpike
Martin Smith, deceased and a tract of land sold by him to Charles Copland, the said 44 acres nearby represented in said plat by yellow lines and laid down by Benjamin Sheppard and Wm. Young commissioners of the Court of Chancery.
JOHN GODDIN’S WILL: Probated March 7, 1864, Henrico County Court “Devised all of his land in four equal parts, to Adolph [sic] Goddin, Wellington Goddin, Clark R. Worsham and Laura Crafton, with particular directions to take care of his wife. “Adolph [sic] Goddin, Wellington Goddin and Clarke Worsham named as executors. JOHN GODDIN’S WILL: March 1864 “…The farm in Henrico on the Brook Turnpike in which the testator recently resided about 95 acres, . . . Note: Daughters of John Goddin: Clarke Worsham, Bennet Crafton. Sons: Wellington Goddin, Adolphus Goddin. He assigns each of his slaves to certain children:
Martha Burton, 60, infirm: $200 to Clarke Worsham
Joe, 43, $4000: Clark Worsham
Isaiah, 37 $4500: Wellington Goddin
Jesse, 40: $4000 to Wellington Goddin
Nancy, 35 $2000 to Adolphus Goddin
Allice, 17 $4000 to Bennet Crafton
Isaiah, Jr. 14 $1500 to Bennet Crafton
Rachael, 12 $1500
Cornelius, 10 $1500 to Clark Worsham
Joe, Jr., 8 to Adolphus Goddin
Jesse Jr., 6 $1000 to Adolphus Goddin
Winston, 2 $500 to Adolphus Goddin
Jackson, 1 month $300 to Adolphus Goddin
Wm Brown, 40 $3000 to Wellington Goddin
Victoria, 23; William, 2; & Male infant, 1 month; to Wellington Goddin
Georgianne, 18 $4000 to Clark Worsham.
In order to provide for the temporal welfare of the widow
Roxanna Goddin and to…we the undersigned (her children and
son-in-law) to occupy the small house on Brook Ave. formerly occupied
by her, free..etc.
DEED: Roxanna Goddin, Adolphus Goddin, & Ann Eliza, his wife, Clarke R. Worsham, Bennett Crafton & Laura, his wife, & Wellington Goddin & Eliza P., his wife, to Mosby Woodson. DATED: March 7, 1864, Recorded Henrico County Court, April 1, 1864. “In order to effect division of estate of John Goddin, all of his property, including farm of about 95 acres on Brook Road, was conveyed to Grantee in trust to sell, pay debts and divide balance according to will.”
DEED: GODDINS, ET. AL TO MOSBY WOODSON, TRUSTEE, DATED: March 17, 1864 Description of property found in deed:”. . . all that land lying and being in the County of Henrico about 2 miles north of the City of Richmond adjacent to the lands of Martin T. Taylor and John O. Taylor’s estate, being a part of the farm whereon the said John Goddin recently resided containing 45 acres according to a plat and survey drawn by Thomas. M. Ladd, City Surveyor . . .”
DEED: Mosby Woodson, Trustee, to James A. Harwood. DATED: March 17, 1864, and recorded in Henrico County Court, Nov. 13, 1866. “Conveyed 50 acres of above tract of land being lots 1 & 2 on plat annexed. Lot #2 fronted 8.53 c on west side Brook Turnpike and ran back between parallel lines 28 chains along North line of Taylor’s Lane (new Laburnum Ave.) to 30 foot road. While Lot #1 fronted 9.36 chains on Brook Turnpike and ran back between parallel lines 28 chains. Two burial grounds were reserved in said tracts. EK Note: This is how I got started on this whole project in 1987! I wanted to find out where the two graveyards were!!!
Oct. 29, 1866. James A. Harwood and Georgella B., his wife, deeded land to the son of John Goddin, Wellington Goddin. Deed recorded Nov. 13, 1866.
Oct. 31, 1868. Wellington Goddin sold farm called Quincy to L. H. Jeter: DESCRIPTION OF QUINCY: (from original deed) “. . . all that certain tract of land with buildinGs and improvements thereon called “Quincey” lying and being in the county of Henrico on the west side of the Brooke Tnpk, about 2 miles north of the city of Richmond containing 50 acres according to a plat and survey . . . annexed. . .”
DEED: L.H. JETER TO JAMES L. APPERSON – DEED DATED: Oct. 21, 1868 This Deed made the 21st day of october in the year 1868 between L.H. Jeter of Henrico County and James l. Apperson of Richmond: Wit: that the said L.H. Jeter does grant unto the said L. Apperson the following property to wit: All that certain tract and parcel of land…and improvements thereon called “Quincey” lying and being in the County of Henrico on the Brook Turnpike, about 2 miles north of Richmond. . .”
DEED: L.H. Jeter to Leroy E. Brown DATED: April 22, 1889. This deed made 22 April 1889 between L.H. Jeter and Mattie D., his wife of the County of Henrico of the first part and Leroy E. Brown of the 2nd part: Witnesseth: That in consideration of $15,000 paid the said party of the first part does grant unto the said LeRoy E. Brown with general warranty . . . “all that certain tract or parcel of land with buildings and improvements therein, called “Quincy”. . .”
GINTER ET AL TO COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA – April 15, 1892
Whereas it is desired of opening a road or boulevard 100 ft. in width which would be an extension of Laburnum Ave. better known as Jeter’s Lane now running only from Brook Rd. to the Hermitage Rd. in an easterly and westerly direction extending eastwardly across the properties of Lewis Ginter, Suther Wright, Dr. Hunter mcGuire, L.E. Brown, Mrs. A.P. Taylor and Isaac Davenport, the C&O Railroad and westwardly throught the properties of Lewis Ginter to the RF&P Railroad, to be used as a public road or highway. Therefore this deed made this twentieth day of november 1890 between Lewis Ginter Suther Wright and …his wife, Dr. Hunter McGuire and Mary S. his wife, L.E. Brown and minta A., his wife and Isaac Davenport-parties of the first part and the Commonwealth of Virginia, party of the second part . . . for one dollar . . . grant unto the party of the second part . . . Warranty so much of their land as will be necessary . . . to extend the said Boulevard through the same at a uniform width of 100 ft.
Plat. For better and fuller description of the land hereby conveyed to be used for sd. road or boulevard special reference is hereby made to the plat of the same hereby attached and to be recorded as a part of this deed: That each party to this deed will at once remove all fences which are now up and across the proposed extension of the road to the proper line and throw open the same for public use. Witness the following signatures and Seals: Isaac Davenport Jr. signs this deed on condition that the present fence on his land is to be the southern boundary line of the within Boulevard.
L. Wright; Susan W. Wright; Hunter McGuire; M.S. mcGuire; leroy E. Brown; Minta A. Brown; I. Davenport, Jr., Lewis Ginter To Wit: I, J. Thompson Brown, a Notary Public for the City aforesaid in the Satae of Va. do certify that …whose names are signed to the within writings bearing date 20 Nove. 1890 and acknowledge same before me in the City aforesaid.
DEED of March 17, 1898 – LeRoy E. Brown & Minta A., his wife, to Robert Sprague Hall Recorded Henrico County, VA, April 4, 1898 Conveyed eastern 30 acres of above land, fronting 1159 feet on West side of Brook Turnpike and running bak in a westerly direction between parallel lines, one of which in North line of Laburnum Ave. 1198.7 feet on south line, and 1068.4 feet on North line. Plat annexed.
DEED of March 30, 1898; Robert Sprague Hall (single) to John H. Storer Recorded, Henrico Co. April 4, 1898 – same land as next above described.
DEED OF TRUST: of March 30, 1898 Robt. Sprague Hall (single)to Jas. W. Anderson & Real Estate Securtiy Co., Trustees. , April 4, 1898 Conveyed same tract of land in trust to secure LeRoy E. Brown payment of $11500.00 being $10000.00 principal, . . .with power to sell in event of default. . .
TRUSTEE: of March 30, 1898
John H. Storer and Edith his wife with Arthur Lyman and Susan C. (his wife and Robert T. Paine, Jr. Recorded April 25, 1898 By this writing John H. Storer declared that he held said land for benefit of all the parties, or survivors of them with full power to sell etc., and purchaser not to see to application of purchase money.
TRUST DEED of June 25, 1898 John H. Storer, Trustee, John H. Storer & Edith P., his wife; Arthur Lyman & Susan C., his wife; Robert T. Paine, Jr., single, to Robert Sprague Hall. Recorded July 1, 1898 Reconveyed same land subject to trust deed above.
TRUST DEED of June 25, 1898 Robert Sprague Hall, single, to Robert T. Paine, Jr., single, Recorded July 1, 1898 Reconveyed same land subject to trust deed above.
DEED (LAWSUIT) of Oct. 17, 1902 – Jas. W. Anderson & Real Estate Securtiy Company, Trustes, TO: J. Thompson Brown & LeRoy E. Brown. In pursuance of decree of Circuit Ct. of Henrico County in cause of J. Thompson Brown & Co. vs. John E. Storer et als; entered may 29, 1902 and Oct. 10, 1902, being a suit for enforcement of lien of above trust deed, sale was made in compliance with terms of said trust deed…
DEED: of May 21, 1907 J. Thompson Brown & Bettie H. his wife, and LeRoy E. Brown & Minta A., his wife, to Brookdale Corporation, a Va. Corporation, etc. Conveyed tract of land including above with exception of all of said lots above designated, except No. 69 which was owned by Brown, fronting 2337′ 6″ on West line of Brook Turnpike, and running back between line nearly parallel between Laburnum Ave. and Bellevue Ave., being 1933’10” on Laburnum Ave. See plat Book 9 page 1 for plot.
DEED: of April 24, 1913 Brookdale Corporation to F. H. Nott Conveyed real estate described in the Caption. Subject to the following conditions and restrictions for the space of twenty-one years:
1). The property is not to be sold, rented or otherwise disposed of to any negro or person of African descent.
2) That no liquor or ardent spirits are to be sold upon the property.
3) That the layout of the lots as shown on the Plan of Brookdale shall be adhered to ,and no scheme of facing lots in any other direction shall be permitted.
4) That no use shall be made of the property hereby conveyed or any part thereof, that will constitute a nuisance or injure the value of any neighboring lots.
5) That the Brookdale Corporation reserves to itself the fee in all the streets of said property to use the same for railroad, gas, water, and sewer pipes, electric light, telephone and telegraph poles and wires and for such other reasonable uses as the said corporation may see fit.
6) that no house shall be built on Laburnum Avenue, Bellevue Avenue, Brook Turnpike or Fairfax Avenue to cost less than $2000.00 nor on any other street or avenue to cost less than $1500.00. NOTE: (1) Deed recited that Brookdale Corporation executes deed by L. O. Miller, President, and maurice A. Powers, Secretary, “by due authority of said corporation.”
(2) Certificate of Beverly Randolph, Notary Public for the City of Richmond, Sate of Virginia, as to Brookdale Corporation does not state date of expiration of his commission as notary Public. This, however, does not affect the validity of the deed.
(3) Real estate Securtiy Company, Trustee under deed of trust from Brookdale Corporation dated may 21, 1907 and recorded in Hen. Co. Ct. in Deed Book 180-B page 83, unites in this deed for purpose of releasing the lien of said deed of trust as to caption property.
(4) This deed, is dated April 24, 1913 and in certificated of both of the Notaries Public it is referred to as bearing date “the 24th day of April 1913” while in the closing or testimony clause of said deed it is recited, “Cone this the 25th day of April, 1913,” This however, in our opinion, is immaterial.
Note: This is the starting page of my title search. It was done for Tobias Albert Foster when he bought the lot my house is on in 1918. I put it here as I have added to it. Whenever “land in caption’ is mentioned in any of the links, it is referring to this lot, which is now 1216 W. Laburnum Ave., aka my house.] ABSTRACT OF TITLE OF F.H. NOTT TO Tobias Albert Foster – 1918 “Lot number 15, in Block “S” in the Plan of Brookdale as platted by T. Crawford Redd & Brother,Surveyors, and of record in the Clerk’s Office of Henrico County,Virginia, in Plat Book 9, page 4, and further described as follows: “Beginning at the northeast corner of Laburnum Avenue and Lafayette Street, and running north about one hundred and thirty-two (132′) feet to an alley, thence east along said alley about fifty (50′) feet, hence south about one hundred and thirty-two (132′) feet to Laburnum Avenue, thence west along said street about fifty feet to place of beginning.(Description from DB. 200-B, page 422, Henrico County Court.) Respectfully submitted, Garret and Ammons, Attorneys at Law. Made for E. F. Schmidt & Co., Inc. Agt., Purchaser, Mr. T.A Foster Purchae Price, $1000.00
1968: Foster to Samples
1971: Samples to Heenan
1973: Heenan to Kambourian
DOCUMENTATION ON THE SLAVE, GEORGE SMITH, PROPERTY OF JACOB SMITH ESTATE, 1800.
SLAVE, GEORGE SMITH: See will of Jacob Smith, 1791 to see George, and his brother Charles as slaves of this farm. Their mother was Ursula, and the father, I believe, was named Ned. (Jacob Smith’s Will on page 2 of this document)
Sept. 17, 1800: Confession of one of the chief conspirators in the Gabriel Slave Plot, Ben Woolfolk: “The first time I ever heard of this conspiracy was from Mrs. Ann Smith’s George, the second person that gave me information was Samuel alias Samuel Bird the property of Mrs. Jane Clarke.”[COMMUNICATIONS OF BEN ALIAS BEN WOODFORK]
SEPT. 19, 1800: Trial of George Smith: At a Court of Oyer and Terminer: held for the County of Henrico at the Courthouse on Friday the nineteenth day of September 1800 for the trial of George a negro man slave the property of Jacob Smith’s Estate now in the possession of Anne Smith of said County. Charged with Conspiracy in insurrection.
Present: Daniel L. Hylton, Bowler Cocke, Hezekiah Henley, Pleasant Younghusband, George Williamson Gent Justices.
The prisoner was set to the bar in Custody, and being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty. Whereupon sundry witnesses were Charged, sworn, and examened and the prisoner fully heard in his defence by James Rind Gent. Counsel assigned him by the Court; On consideration whereof It is the opinion of the Court that the said negro man slave George is guilty of the charge aforesaid and for the same that he be hanged by the neck until he be dead. And that execution of this sentence be done and performed on him the said George on this day fortnight being the thrid day of October next at Watson’s Tavern, the property of Thomas H. Prosser in this County. The Court valued the said slave George to one hundred pounds. The minutes of the aforegoing Trial and proceedings were signed. Dan’l L. Hylton Bowler Cocke Hez. Henley P. Younghusband Geo. Williamson A Copy Teste Adam Craig C.H.C.
[Comments on back of trial transcript: Commonwealth vs. George: Trial and proceedings. Sept. 19th 1800. Also, a note added later: 3rd Oct. and another: “executed”].
ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT OF GEORGE SMITH’S TRIAL:
[NOTE on reverse side of paper: No. 10 Trial of George. On the trial of George belonging to the Estate of Jacob Smith deceased.]
Ben Woolfolk the property of Paul Graham Deposed- That the first time he ever heard anything of a conspiracy and insurrection among the Blacks, was from the prisoner, that he came to his house at dusk or dark where he was cutting Wood and asked him if he would join a free-mason Society. This deponent replied, No, because all free-masons would go to Hell.
Upon this the prisoner said it was not a free-Mason Society he wished him to join but a Society to fight the white people for their freedom, who replied, he would consider of it.
About a week or 10 days after, the prisoner and one Sam Byrd came to his house (at Mr. Young’s, where he was hired, with Jack Bowler, that the prisoner, Sam Byrd, and this deponent conversed until late at Night upon the intended War and insurrection. The said George told them he was one of the party.
Some short time after this the prisoner informed this deponent that he had enlisted about thirty seven men at Hungary Meeting House and fifty in Manchester.
On Sunday evening about a week after the meeting of the prisoner, and Sam Byrd at his house, there was a meeting at Prossers Spring. The prisoner, Gabriel, this deponent and many others were there, they appointed the prisoner to carry the money which was made, by subscription, to this deponent on the night he was to go to Caroline to buy Liquor to treat the men to get them to enlist. Up there George the prisoner was a Colonel.
The prisoner told this deponent that he intended to hire his time of his Mistress and go down as far as the pipeing tree, to enlist men, particularly the Outlandish people, because they were supposed to deal with Witches, and Wizards, and of course useful in Armies to tell when any calamity was about to befall them.
The testimony of Price’s Jno. on the prisoner. The last time he saw George the prisoner was at Mr. Young’s at a funeral; after it was over Gabriel proposed to the prisoner and many others that they should go to the spring and drink grog. After they got to the Spring, the deponent heard Gabriel ask the prisoner if he would join him to fight the white people for their freedom. George the prisoner replied he would and gave him his hand.
George Smith: EXECUTION CERTIFIED: “I do hereby certify that the slave within mentioned was executed on the 10th Inst. the executive having suspended his execution until that day. Signed Samuel Mosby, 20 Oct. 1800.
OCTOBER 23, 1800:
I do Hereby Certify I examined George some few days before his execution on the subject of Mr. Elisha Price’s man James having enlisted with him in the Conspiracy, who positively denied he ever mentioned the subject to him, that he was afraid to let him know the secret, nor did believe it was ever mentioned to him.
Given under my hand, Jesse Smith * 23rd Oct. 1800 Teste— James Price Frederick Argyle