(CONTINUED) Feature on Candlelight Tour House – 704 Prince Edward Street

(CONTINUED) Feature on Candlelight Tour House—704 Prince Edward Street

Blog Post by Wendy Migdal

Edited by Linda Billard

Principal Marker Researcher: Roger Engels

Kaufman and Hannah Hirsh were not the original owners or builders of the house, however. That distinction belongs to James Turner, who worked as a manager for a local merchant and later a foreman in a foundry. In 1854, Turner bought an irregular piece of land from William Mitchell that fronted Prince Edward Street for 60 feet and extending back 264 feet. A year earlier, Mitchell had purchased the land from the owner of the Federal Hill estate but seemed to have some trouble paying his bills.

Turner probably built the brick Greek Revival style house in 1855, with a gable roof and two chimneys. Because the earliest map showing the house dates from 1878, no records exist regarding the exact original footprint. The house is a two-story brick dwelling with a side hall measuring 24 feet by 32 feet, and a one-story brick extension to the rear measuring 14 feet by 26 feet. The extension may or may not have been added later; there are no visible joints, however. (And at some point, there was yet another brick addition, 14 by 10 feet, that does show a break in the brickwork. A frame sunroom was added above this.) There was also a 1-½ story kitchen dependency.

When Turner came home from work, he may have stood on his small front porch (which at that time covered only the doorway entrance) and gazed on the bustle of town. Prince Edward at that time was the western edge of the city, so he was “getting away from it all.” But it was not to last long; he sold the house after only 2 years to Charles Brown. Turner’s obituary mentions health problems, so that may have been an issue.

Charles Brown was the owner during the terrible battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862, when cannon and musket fire raged above the heads of the citizens of Fredericksburg as they cowered in cellars. The Union set up gun emplacements behind Federal Hill and 704 Prince Edward. Because most of the Confederate troop movement was to the north of the house, it may not have sustained great damage during the battle, and Charles Brown may not have been cowering in the house at the time. As you learned in the previous blog installment about this house, the Hirshes purchased the house only about 4 months after the battle.

Today’s owners enjoy a porch that wraps around the left side of the house—date unknown—with Doric columns and a turned balustrade. They are eager to preserve the historical character of the house and received their historical marker from HFFI in 2016. To learn more about their preservation efforts and the history of the home, join us for the Candlelight Tour on December 8 and 9, 2018.

Feature on Candlelight Tour House – 704 Prince Edward St

Feature on Candlelight Tour House – 704 Prince Edward St

Blog Post by Wendy Migdal

Principal Researcher: Roger Engels

 

 

The house at 704 Prince Edward Street, built in 1855, has been home to families large and small, some who were there for years and some for only a short while. But if walls could talk, one of their most outstanding memories would be the time an old Civil War veteran came back to the scene where he lost his arm 46 years earlier.

William Wright of New York was serving with Duryea’s Zouaves when he was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness. The entire city of Fredericksburg had become essentially a hospital after the battle, and 704 Prince Edward was no exception. The Hirshes had bought the house only about a year earlier, in April 1863. Kaufman and Hannah Hirsh lived there with their seven children; three of their daughters helped nurse Wright back to health after his arm was amputated in their parlor.

In 1910, Wright returned to Fredericksburg for a visit. One of those daughters, Rosa, now married, was still living in the house with her husband. Either Wright had established a special friendship with the family while he was convalescing, or the wartime memories uniting people were strong, but a Free Lance-Star entry reports that he spent several days with the family.

For nearly 100 years, (1863–1958), three generations of Hirshes lived in the home—grandparents Kaufman and Hannah and their children, daughter Rosa who married Herman Kaufman (yes, her husband’s last name was the same as her father’s first), and grandson Sydney. One of the earliest Jewish families in Fredericksburg, the Hirshes were prominent merchants, owning several mercantile, grocery, and jewelry stores throughout the years.

When Rosa Hirsh Kaufman’s mother died in 1893 (her father had died in 1891), her six siblings agreed to sell their interest in the house to her. It appears that Rosa had been living there already because her father’s obituary stated that he died in Baltimore. In the early 1900s, the Kaufmans sold off some parcels of land behind the house that had been part of the property. These parcels became part of Hanover Park, where the Fredericksburg White Sox played for some years. The park also hosted traveling shows such as the Chautauqua and other amusement-type parks, until the G&H Corporation bought it and built a clothing factory. Today, the buildings are a mixed-use office and residential space called Mill Race Commons.

It was during Rosa’s residence that William Wright returned to visit the scene of what surely one of the most harrowing moments of his life. It was also during this time that some additions were made to the house. The Kaufmans extended the front porch to the full width of the house by 1912, according to Sanborn fire insurance maps, and built an addition to the kitchen as well as a shed. By 1919, they had added a garage in front of the shed and a frame addition at the rear of the two-story portion of the house. By 1927 (the year Rosa died), a second story had been added to the frame addition.

The house passed out of the Hirsh and Kaufman families’ hands when the widow of Sydney Kaufman (Rosa’s son) sold it in 1958.

For more information on the building of the home and other owners, stay tuned to this blog. This house will also be on the Candlelight Tour December 8 and 9, 2018. More to come on 704 Prince Edward Street soon!

Job Listing – HFFI Volunteer and Event / Fundraising Coordinator

 

Application period is now closed.

Resumes are being reviewed and interviewees will be contact over the next two weeks.

If no suitable applicant is found, the application period will reopen.

Volunteer and Event / Fundraising Coordinator

The Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. is seeking a Volunteer & Events/ Fundraising Coordinator to work 25 hours per week.

Position is estimated to begin early August.

Duties would include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Recruiting & Managing Volunteers
    • Monitor volunteers running office during hours of operation
    • Monitor and assist volunteers working on independent projects
    • Recruit volunteers and learn their skills and interests to match with appropriate projects
  • Assist various working committees – Historic Marker, Events, Real Estate, Publications, etc.
  • Lead coordination of the annual Holiday Candlelight Tour including:
    • Volunteer committees to manage portions of event
    • Basic bookkeeping and oversight of budget and ticket sales
    • Assist volunteers in obtaining sponsors and advertisers for event
    • Promote event throughout community
  • Assist walk-in guests during business hours and phone calls/ emails with requests for information
    • Consult files in Lewis Store for info
    • Pass on to appropriate volunteer or board member as needed
  • Oversee sales in gift shop throughout year/ work to promote gift shop and HFFI items
  • Post on HFFI Facebook page to engage community with preservation and promote events and products
  • Communicate with HFFI Board of Directors on progress with Foundation projects and needs to ensure success
  • Maintain and monitor organization’s budget
    • Oversee payment of bills and tax preparation

Applicant should have experience and be proficient in the following skills:

  • Verbal Communication
    • Must communicate with staff & volunteers to convey needs and instructions
  • Ability to prioritize tasks
  • Project Management – will need to coordinate multiple departments and committees as well as simultaneous tasks to ensure a successful Holiday Candlelight Tour
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • WordPress website CMS – not required, but helpful

 

Pay is hourly (not to exceed 25 hours/ week without Board approval) $16-$18/ hour

Please send a cover letter and resume to Board President, HFFI, 1200 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 or email to [email protected].