Old-Time Mill Seat
By James Croggon, The Evening Star, August 15, 1909 [pt. 4, p. 1]
In colonial times there was included in the Youngsboro tract of many hundred acres, owned by Notley Young, the Mill Seat, which was carved into a number of squares. In 1791 that portion of it upon the laying out of the Capitol city fell in its lines. In this Mill Seat there was for more than fifty years, until about 1840, what was known as Young's, Pearson's and Logan's mill, successively - an old-fashioned grist mill fed by the waters of the Tiber, an overshot after an undershot wheel being used. It was of frame, and during its existence, as the population increased, business demanded its enlargement.
This mill and the frame house on the hill east, which fell in the lines of Delaware avenue north of L street, were the only improvements during the first half of the last century. The latter was used as a habitation for about a hundred years, it having been erected about 1780 as the home of Mrs. Ann Cazenave, the daughter of Mr. Young, on her marriage to Peter Cazenave, a merchant of Georgetown, who, however, lived here but a few years owing to the death of Mr. Cazenave.
During her residence here and later, when occupied by the Youngs, Fenwicks and others connected with the Young family, the spacious room at the east end was used as a place of worship for the family, friends and others. Services were frequently conducted by Fathers Nicolas, Young, Fenwick and others. A former slave of the Youngs, when nearly ninety years of age, stated to the writer that as a child she had worshiped there when the room was filled by white and colored, bond and free.
Though there were but few people in the immediate neighborhood, the statement is undoubtedly correct, for prior to 1820 St. Patrick's Church on F street, Barry's Chapel on the Point and Queen's Chapel in the country were the nearest points for Catholic worship.
Walked Miles to Church
North of K street, between 1st and 4th streets, there was, for the greater part of the nineteenth century, an absence of urban conditions other than those above noted. From a branch of the Tiber, which entered the city limits near the head of 2d street, eastward, the land was somewhat hilly, and interspersed in the primeval growth was cleared land cultivated to corn and other crops.
The Cazenave house of two stories and attic in the colonial style, facing south, with porch extending its length, well shaded by native trees, on the summit of a hill, reached by graveled carriage way, with the mill to the west and here and there the out-buildings, stables, quarters, etc., of a well managed farm, made a picture of oldtime rural life. That the place was appreciated as late as the early fifties, is shown by the fact that members of Congress, during several sessions, occupied it for quarters.
Streets Fenced for Cows
That this section, enchanting as it was to those who appreciated rural scenery, did not appreciate rapidly in values is seen on the assessment books, and since much of it was vested in the government the receipts for taxes were next to nothing. Little, however, was needed to spend on the streets. Not until the thirties, when Mr. Gales established his home at Eckington, near the head of New York avenue, was there any demand for a road. It was after the civil war, however, following the location of the deaf and dumb institution that a roadway thereto was worn along M street.
Little Change of Title
Donation by Congress
The square between 2d, 3d, K and L streets, No. 749, was allotted to the government, and its twelve lots were so held till 1837,, and were included in the donation to the Georgetown College. The twelve lots on 3d, 4th, K and L streets forming square 774, as Mr. Young's, were vested in the United States in 1796, and Georgetown College in 1837 received title from the government.
In square 712, between L, M and 1st streets and Delaware avenue, on which twelve lots were laid out in the name of Young's heirs and Mr. Carroll, was divided in 1802, ,the government taking the six lots of the west half of the square, Mr. Carroll that at Delaware avenue and L street and the Young estate the others.
Owned by Mayor of City
The square east, sixteen lots of square 748, fronting Delaware avenue, L, M, 2d and 3d streets, have the same history as the above, with the exception that the government had the east half of the square, which , in 1837, went to Georgetown College. Mr. Carroll had two lots, which, in 1835, completed Mr. Wilson's purchase of the west half of the square. The twenty lots of square 773, fronting 3d, 4th, L and M streets, owned by Mr. Young in 1796, were transferred, the west ten lots vested in him, the government holding the others. The history to 1837 is the same as that of square 712[?] , heretofore noted.
There were twenty-six lots, fronting M, N, 1st and 2d streets, in square 711, in which the government and Mr. Young shared equally in 1796. Mrs. Cazenave owned the Young lots in 1802, and the others in 1837 were vested in Georgetown College. The triangle east formed by Delaware Avenue, 3d and N streets, one lot being assigned to the United States, were owned by Georgetown College in 1837. That portion between Delaware avenue, M and 2d streets, seven lots, known as square 747, was vested in Mr. Young, and passing later to his daughter, has similar history to square 712 prior to 1830.
Property of Georgetown College
Square 710, between N, O, 1st and 2d streets, twenty lots, was equally divided between the Commissioners and Mr. Young in 1796, though it was included in the Greenleaf contract. Mrs. Cazenave in 1802 owned her father's portion, lots 5 to 14, and in 1817 conveyed it to Joseph Pearson. The irregular lot of land known as square E 710, formed by "the street which binds the city," Florida avenue, Delaware avenue, N and 2d streets, was apportioned to the government, and in 1837 Georgetown College became the owner. Square N 447, formed by N and 3d streets and Delaware avenue, was assigned to Mr. Young in 1796.
Six years later Nicholas Young became the owner and in 1854 Ebenezer Rodbird bought it. Between Florida avenue, N and 3d streets, square N 772, one lot, was vested in Mr. Young, and in 1837 became the property of Georgetown College.
The angular square formed by the lines of 1st street, New York and Florida avenues, known as square 709, was assigned to Mr. Young, and in the partition of his estate in 1802 went to his son Nicholas, and later, in 1830, fell to L. F. and E. D. Young.
No change was wrought for years in this or any of the other Young property.