Friday, December 9, 2022

Georgetown house with an exaggerated history seeks a buyer

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According to a 1909 story within the Evening Star, the White Horse Tavern was at Wisconsin Avenue and Q Street NW, a block from the house. The tavern was constructed by Jacob Holtzman, a landowner with a number of properties in Georgetown. Holtzman might have owned the house on thirty third Street, which might clarify why it was confused with the tavern. Many folks coming to city to promote enslaved staff on the market at thirty second and Q streets stayed on the tavern, the place enslaved staff had been confined within the cellar.

Distinguished properties on the market within the D.C. area

Georgetown house | The circa 1795 house most likely began as two homes with an alleyway between them. At some level, the homes had been joined. It is listed at just below $4 million. (HomeVisit)
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The Evening Star article goes on to state that a “mulatto and ex-slave” named Burgess later owned the tavern, calling it the Yellow Burgess Tavern. “Yellow” was a time period used to explain a light-skinned Black particular person.

For a few years, earlier than the constructing was destroyed, it was house to what the Evening Star termed a “colored” Baptist church.

If the tavern was not on thirty third Street, how did the house come to have the plaque? It appears that Mrs. Sydney Small, who owned the house, needed to boost its status, so she persuaded her buddy Mrs. Freeland Peter to fee the plaque.

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In a 1968 letter that Eleanor Lee Templeman wrote to Theodore French, she describes what occurred. The letter is on file on the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Library.

According to Templeman, Mrs. Peter, who was president of the District of Columbia chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, appointed her to function chairman of historic actions. Her first duty was to have the plaque solid and positioned outdoors the house of her buddy Mrs. Small. Mrs. Peter gave Templeman the information for the textual content, telling her that she and her husband had authenticated its veracity.

“I later realized that I should have personally rechecked the documentation,” Templeman wrote.

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Not lengthy after the plaque was put in, Templeman wrote, its errors had been delivered to her consideration. She reached out to Mrs. Peter and supplied to pay for a corrected plaque. But Mrs. Peter vetoed her suggestion.

“Knowing that this marker is incorrect, I feel duty-bound to attempt to straighten out the error, including my personal responsibility in the matter,” Templeman wrote. “I believe we should retrieve the plaque and have it destroyed.”

The plaque was not destroyed, and it stays to at the present time outdoors the house. And the parable of the house’s history has lived on.

A 1942 Evening Star article proclaimed: “Where a government official now lives and entertains the leaders of today’s democracy, weary travelers used to stop before the United States was born.”

Annabel Paxton, who used Helen Gatch Durston’s sketch of the entrance door of the house as the quilt picture for her 1940 ebook “Washington Doorways,” wrote: “Before the Revolution, tobacco and cotton drays rumbled through this one-time driveway to the rear courtyard of the White Horse Tavern. Foot-weary horses were rested while teamsters imbibed the spirits and conviviality of the taproom.”

Old Georgetown Beer talked about it in an commercial: “Gentlemen will please remove their boots upon going to bed. The Yellow Tavern on Market St. (now a private home on 33rd St.) is said to have had such a rule.”

According to Peabody Room information, Deering Davis, Stephen P. Dorsey and Ralph Cole Hall, who wrote the ebook “Georgetown Houses of the Federal Period, 1780-1830,” date the house to circa 1795 (not 1788 because the plaque states). The house was possible an oyster shucker’s house, in line with Peabody Room information. It most likely began as two homes with an alleyway between them. At some level, the homes had been joined.

Although its lineage is extra modest than the plaque implies, the house is nonetheless stately, with an English bond (not Flemish bond because the plaque states) brick sample on the facade and an oversize entry with an arched transom and six-panel sidelights.

The spacious lounge has two fireplaces, the eating room has one. There are two extra fireplaces on the higher ranges. The terraced yard has a swimming pool. An extended driveway results in a one-car storage with further parking for 4 automobiles.

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,000-square-foot house on a 0.22-acre lot is listed at just below $4 million.

1524 thirty third St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Approximate square-footage: 4,000

Features: The circa 1795 house most likely began as two homes with an alleyway between them. At some level, the homes had been joined. The house has 5 fireplaces. The terraced yard has a swimming pool. An extended driveway results in a one-car storage with further parking for 4 automobiles.

Listing agent: Nora Burke, McEnearney Associates



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