It's raining outside, so I thought I would spend some time this morning researching the history of my house. The details are fuzzy. The only things I can find are the deeds which indicate when the property was sold or transferred. The actual construction of the house is still dated as 1946 by the county tax office. Here's what I know so far.
JM Brown established a law office in Albemarle in 1878. He had a son, R. Lane Brown. At the time of JM Brown's death, the property was known as the Brown Estate. In 1928, Lane Brown (Wife Lila A.) partitioned the Estate creating a community called Oakdale. Now Seventh Street, it was originally known as Emmitt Street. I can't find a reference to anyone by that name. Here's the layout of the community taken from the Stanly County GIS website. Lots 41 and 42 became my property and are shaded in yellow.
On September 28, 1934, the Brown Estate was divided and sold off due to a judgment against Lane Brown and DS Lippard, Admr. Lippard owned the Pontiac dealership that sits at the intersection of Main St, Pee Dee Avenue, and Fifth Street. There's a restaurant in that building now. It's called Pontiac. I haven't found any information yet on what caused the judgment, but assuming the dates, I'd say it was related to losses during the Great Depression.
The following is a timeline of ownership beginning in 1928.
1928 - Oakdale was created from the property formerly known as the Brown Estate.
September 28, 1934 - A judgment transferred to Stanly Bank & Trust.
May 30, 1939 - L V Dunlap and Margaret B Dunlap purchased the two lots 41 & 42 for the price of $300.
March 13, 1946 - T F Morgan and Grace E Morgan purchased the property. Morgan built several houses in my neighborhood. I assume he is the builder of this house as well.
March 8, 1952 - Maude B Osborn and husband Wilburn M. Osborn purchased the property.
June 6, 1955 - C C Russell and Julia P Russell purchased the property for the sum of $10 and "other valuable considerations".
July 6, 2009 - Julia P Russell (widow) transfers ownership of the property to Jane Evelyn Russell Jones, Patricia Anne Russell Hartsell, Virginia Allen Russell Boger, and Ted Clement Russell, her children.
August 5, 2006 - John Frechette took ownership for "zero dollars" of the property that was conveyed to Jane Evelyn Russell Jones, Patricia Anne Russell Hartsell, Virginia Allen Russell Boger, and Ted Clement Russell.
June 22, 2007 - John Frechette sold to me.
In the attic, I've found newspapers under the flooring that I pulled up to rewire the kitchen. Most are dated for 1955. The Russells lived here the longest so I assume with 3 children, they renovated the attic at some point to be a bedroom. I can't imagine how hot in summer and cold in winter it must have been with no insulation.
Behind the mantle, when I remodeled the living room, I found this picture, undated. The little boy sitting on the floor is a former co-worker of mine at the store, I think. I'll have to remember to ask him the next time I see him about the story of the Russells. He told me last year that he had spent a few nights in the attic of this house.
I will continue to search and ask the older neighbors about the family that built this house and the woman, Julia Russell, who did the gardening. I'd like to move her camellia this spring from the deep woods into the yard. She certainly had a love of plants and I'd hate to see it lost when/if someone purchases and clears the land next door.