Lots in Northeast
By James Croggon, The Evening Star, September 26, 1909 [pt. 2, p. 6]
Within the lines of North Capitol, C, E and 4th streets northeast a dozen building squares were made when the property was laid out for city purposes, 1st, 2d and 3d streets and Massachusetts avenue separating them. The ground west of these squares is still in a transitory state, some portions having since the civil war been improved by dwellings on an established grade, which was superseded by one many feet higher than their doorways.
By reason of the construction of he railroad station the change of grade was made necessary, as it was also on the original plan of the city, that part abutting E street at Delaware avenue being made part of the plaza.
Nor is the surface alone undergoing change, for under 1st street the railroad tunnel was constructed by which there is unbroken line of travel between the north and south. Not completely, however, has this area been changed, some of the old natural grade or surface no having been filled in to the present grade. At the northeast corner of C and North Capitol streets, high above the street grade, is what remains of "the hill," and near Massachusetts avenue and 2d street is a portion of the "Chicken Cock Hill" of old --- a famous battleground for boys.
This area lay almost entirely in Mr. Carroll’s lines, with the eastern portion on William Prout’s land, and it was improved but a trifle more rapidly than that part north, with no indications of street improvements until the fifties and then it was only by the grading of C street.
He stream from Abraham Young’s spring coursed across the square north of D street between North Capitol street and Delaware avenue, and the ascent therefrom was south and eastward, presenting a few knolls as ideal home sites.
Though the owners looked for an appreciation of the property from the fact that Greenleaf, Morris & Nicholson, Pratt, Francis, Miller and others were early interested, there were no buildings erected till in the twenties, when some colored families were located in the street between D and E streets.
Assessments in 1802
Three cents was the first rate in the square east, 724, between 1st and 2d streets, but it quickly dropped to 1 cent and less and for thirty years was unchanged. On all other squares fractions expressed value, except on some lots in square 780, where 1 cent was the rate for several years, doubtless owing to the lease of a lot on 3d street between D and E streets to Barney Parsons, a builder and contractor in the infancy of the city. This lease was made by William Prout and embraced two lots of twenty-five feet frontage each at $22 per year for ninety-nine years. A few years later the lease was assigned to B. Mahony for $300. The division between the government and proprietors in 1799 left to Mr. Carroll nearly one-half he lots, and Mr. Prout eight. By the agreement with Mr. Greenleaf, two years before, the titles to many were rested in him.
Neither in these nor the government’s portion was there activity for half a century, though in 1829 Mr. Carroll conveyed his holdings there, with other ground, to Tabbs, Weightman & Wallach as trustees to sell. Prior to this year, however, there had been some transfers from the original holders, mostly in bulk, lots in other squares being included. In the square between Delaware avenue, C, D and North Capitol streets, No. 683, the eleven lots were assigned Mr. Carroll and from his trustees, Tabbs et al., Col. William Hickey of the office of secretary of the Senate purchased lots 1 and 2, the south front of the square, and B.J. Bishop lot 9, the northeast portion, in 1833. Three years afterward Richard Barry owned lot 5 and John P. Ingle lots 3 and 4, the later in 1843 going to Maj. W.J. McDonald and two years later to Mrs. Ann Skirving. John Skirving, an architect lived at the corner of North Capitol and D streets several years afterward. In 1847 James Crutchett bought several lots in this square and also in many others, including some north of this section.
In the square east, 684, between Delaware avenue, 1st, C and D streets, the ten lots were equally divided between the government and Carroll, and Greenleaf. Semmes, Lewis and W.G. Cranch owned property here for years.
Divided in 1792
Square 756, south of Massachusetts avenue and D street, between 2d, 3d and C streets, eleven lots following the division were owned by Pratt, Francis Miller and others, and in 1829 Tabbs e al., had the Carroll lots in the market, after which William Fisher was interested. Between Massachusetts avenue, 3d, 4th and D street west of Stanton square, five lots were carved in square 782, and were vested in the United States. In 1829 E. Burd had two of them, which were bought by Margaret Cox, and in 1838 one passed to L. Saunders, and to W.G. Cranch the following year.
In square 781, the triangle formed by Massachusetts avenue, 4th and D streets, consisting of two lots, passed to William Prout and the government and for years the lots were owned by William O’Neale.
Square 681, between North Capital, D and E streets and Delaware avenue, title to sixteen lots in the area divided was shared with Mr. Carroll, and that of the government's portion was in Greenleaf and Godefroy for many years. Carroll's lots were conveyed in 1829 to Tabbs and others to be sold.
In 1836 Andrew Rothwell bought three lots in the northeast part for $198, and in 1844 R.E. Semmes took title to four lots, selling the two at the corner of North Capitol and D streets to nicholas Acker, a stonecutter and contractor. Formed by Delaware avenue, D, E and 1st streets, two of the five lots in square 682 went to the United States, and the history of these applies until 1834 when Griffith Coombe becaqme an owner. Massachusetts avenue, 1st and D streets inclosed square 723, embracing eleven lots, in which Greenleaf, and Morris & Nicholson were interested. In the division of property, however, they were divided between the government and Mr. Carroll.
Moses Young Buys Five Lots
In 1838 Lewis Saunders bought lots 1 and 2, to which G.C. Grammer succeeded the following year. In 1845 William Fisher owned lots 5 to 10, which two years afterward passed to James Crutchett and others. The triangle north, consisting of two lots in the lines of Massachusetts avenue, 1st and E streets--722--was in Greenleaf's choice, and untikl 1840 no change was made in the title given by