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Feb
19

Washington’s Office Purchased

By
When:
February 10, 2017 – February 28, 2017 all-day
2017-02-10T00:00:00-05:00
2017-03-01T00:00:00-05:00
Where:
Washington's Office
32 W Cork St
Winchester, VA 22601
USA

 

Washington’s Office Winchester VA

Compiled by Jim Moyer  Feb-March of 2016, updated  2/12/2017 thru 2/15/2017

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We just missed another anniversary February 10th.  109 years ago.

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The City of Winchester purchased the building

on the corner of Cork and Braddock, February 10, 1908.

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Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society now runs Washington’s Office.

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Here is a list of all their Winchester city museums:

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http://winchesterhistory.org/

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The Purchase of Washington’s Office

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purchase of gw office news article

Bottom right of the middle article is the reference to the purchase.

10 February 1908 when City of Winchester purchased this house from Kurtz Family

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The first mention of this purchase is in The Evening Star, Winchester’s local newspaper,  4 March 1908 issue about yesterday’s City Council meeting.

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Click on pictures to enlarge.

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As you can see, the headlines are about much more urgent matters such as a bond to finance public school and a water tax..

purchase of gw office snippit of article.

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Excerpt about the purchase from that front page article:

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Council then proceeded to the transaction of regular business.
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The report of City Treasurer George H. Kinzel showed the receipts during the month of February to have been $238.87. with a balance on hand February 1st of $5,824.22.
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The disbursements during February, including $2,460 paid for the purchase of Gen. Washington’s headquarters, amounted to $4,074.99. leaving a balance on hand of $1,998.10.
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purchase of gw office newspaper banner

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fort loudoun history markers 028Quarles Research

A Heavy debt is owed here to Garland R Quarles’ research:

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Before signing the ordinance, however, Mayor H.H.Baker made a detailed report to the Council on March 3, 1908, [Notice City Council already had purchased this site February 10, 1908] concluded:

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“After a careful study of the many records and the oral testimony of many reputable people, [Ed note:  the main testimony coming from T.K. Cartmell, Clerk of Court, at the very time he was soon to publish his Pioneers of Shenandoah Valley … book indicated below]

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I believe there is no reasonable doubt

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that the middle room was a block house

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and was used by Washington in tabulating his work as a surveyor when he was employed by Lord Fairfax. (Winchester Council Journal 1899-1909 – Page 393)”  

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source is Page 7 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Cartmell’s Reporting:

“George Washington executed several deeds for tracts of land;

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the originals are on file in this office; [Cartmell was Clerk of Court at the time of purchase]

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he [George Washington] also purchased several tracts during the time he made the surveys for Fairfax.

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One was form George Johnston, a member of the Winchester Bar.

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The agreement for this purchase was executed in Winchester,

and in the law office of Mr Johnston. 

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This office was used by Washington while in the town, when plotting his surveys.

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This office was located on the corner of Braddock Road and Cork Street;

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and tradition fixes the old stone and log building at that corner as ‘Washington Headquarters’.

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Whether this meant his military or surveyor’s office is not known.”

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Source:

PAGE 250 from  Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants, A History of Frederick County, Virginia (ILLUSTRATED)  From its Formation in 1738 to 1908 Compiled Mainly from Original Records of Old Frederick County, now Hampshire, Berkeley, Shenandoah, Jefferson, Hardy, Clarke, Warren, Morgan and Frederick…..by  T. K. Cartmell Clerk of the Old County Court

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T.K.Cartmell was grandson of this Nathaniel Cartmell

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Was there a building when GW was here?

Quarles wonders.

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5 September 1759

Lot 12 in James Wood’s 1758 “addition” to Winchester

was sold by James Wood to Thomas Rutherford

for 20lbs,

citing Frederick Deed Book 5 – page 263.

Source: Quarles Pages 9-10.

Later that same year 6 November 1759  James Wood dies

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Lot 12 is 105 feet 2 inches on Braddock Street and 188 feet 6 inches on Cork Street.

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6 February 1764

James Wood’s widow,

Mary Wood (daughter of Rutherford),

sells land adjacent to Thomas Rutherford

(might be son of the Thomas Rutherford above)

stating this is land being sold next to

where Thomas Rutherford already lives.

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The Father, Capt Thomas Rutherford:

Captain Thomas Rutherford, Sr. (d. 1760), first High Sheriff of Frederick County 11/11/1743 to 3/6/1745,  sold to Washington the Bullskin property and who originally owned the property on which stands Washington’s Office on Braddock and Cork Streets in Winchester.  Later the daughter of the elder Thomas Rutherford and who had married James Wood Sr and who was widowed in 1759, gave back to her brother, the younger, surviving Thomas the property around Washington’s Office.  See Link:  The father was an officer of Frederick County sworn in by Morgan Morgan November 14, 1743, five years after the original creation of Frederick County March, 1738.

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7 May 1778

Thomas Rutherford sold  to Adam Kurtz

for 100 lbs

Frederick Co Deed Book 17 – page 464.

The Price increase due to inflation or

to the building improving the land?

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There’s no proof an Adam Kurtz owned that lot or any building on that lot when GW was here before and during the French and Indian War.

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Proof of the Kurtz family owning this doesn’t come until 1778.  By then, GW was everywhere else but here.  GW had others manage the then 20 year old Fort Loudoun as a prison camp for the “Convention Prisoners.” The junior James Wood who later became Governor of the state of Virginia was in charge of all Convention Prisoners.

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10 February 1908

Captain G.W. Kurtz sells the corner to City Council.

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What are we to conclude?

There was a building at some point

AFTER 1759 and before 1764.

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Source is Pages 6-11 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Quarles Asked 3 Questions

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1. Was there a building on this Corner when GW was here?

This was discussed above.

So if there was a building,

then Quarles asked the next 2 questions.

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2. Did GW use this place as an office?

Probably not.

GW surveys were mostly west — way outside of town.

He would go to White Post where Lord Fairfax was.

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3. Did GW use this place as a headquarters?

Maybe.

But there are indications other places were used instead.

 

GW lived for a year in 1756 near this corner at

21 S Loudoun St, the large lot containing Cocke’s Tavern.

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December 2, 1756,  GW paid a year’s rent to Cocke’s Tavern and  moved out.

Into Fort Loudoun.

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Construction of Fort Loudoun started May18, 1756.

By December 2, 1756, the officers’ quarters was finished.

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GW had resigned being Colonel of the Virginia Regiment end of December 1758.

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Rutherford was living on that corner sometime AFTER the 1759 sale and BEFORE 1764.

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There’s no proof an Adam Kurtz owned that lot or any building on that lot when GW was here before and during the French and Indian War.

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Proof of the Kurtz family owning this doesn’t come until 1778.  By then, GW was everywhere else but here.  GW had others manage the then 20 year old Fort Loudoun as a prison camp for the “Convention Prisoners.” The junior James Wood who later became Governor of the state of Virginia was in charge of all Convention Prisoners.

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GW was elected to represent Frederick County in the House of Burgesses July 1758 and again in 1761, but he was mostly at Mount Vernon since the beginning of 1759 when just having married Martha.

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Source:

Pages 6-11 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS

Quarles still wonders after all

 if there was a building on this property

when George Washington was here.

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But there’s no conclusive answer either way.

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When first posting this story, a responder mentioned there was an archeological study on this corner. We are still looking for that evidence.

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Ben Ritter, local historian, states there is some story that the Yankees were told this building was George Washington’s office to prevent the Yankees from burning or destroying it.

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BUT this corner is still important.

Because of what is on this corner

and because what this corner is near.

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On this corner ?

The Building was purchased by the city in 10 February 1908.  Evidence indicates there was a building of some sort or even part of that present building on that corner at the very least by 1764.

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Significance of Corner of Cork and Braddock

You wonder why these street names?

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The Braddock Cannon

Commemorated 27 May 1915.  The cannon is even older – having been abandoned by Braddock in Alexandria in 1755.

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The Fort Loudoun Cannon

Sitting there since 1924.  This is currently being researched.  Report coming soon.  Ben Ritter, local historian, has provided the information for this report.

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Young George Washington Statue

Commemorated 24 July 2004.

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The Pig

Commemorated 12 April 2014 with a skit performed on that date. The Pig  brings attention to Washington’s only authored legislation in the House of Burgesses.  Pigs were running around freely. This was a nuisance. And it wasn’t sanitary for Winchester.  Most of what GW did in the House of Burgesses was constituent services and to make good on the government’s promise of land to his French and Indian War veterans.

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What was near this corner?

Quarles lists what was nearby:

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Click on picture to enlarge.  Hit backspace to return back here.

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Robert Mallin's footsteps

Page 27 of Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Volume XII published 2000, article by Robert Mallin, titled, “Washington’s Footsteps”

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Fort George –

a prisoner’s stockade on the hill back of present day Braddock Street Church

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Drill ground –

North of this corner of Braddock and Cork.

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Cocke’s Tavern  21 South Loudoun Street –

GW paid a year’s rent there on 2 December 1756.

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Military Hospital –

on Loudoun Street nearby

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Source is Page 11 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Source of the Map?

Robert Mallin

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Often the historians, especially the ones mentioned in this website have big stories of their own, and should not go unrecorded.

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Robert Mallin, recognizable for his top hat, conducted walking tours shown in map above. “He developed several walking tours for the downtown area and Mount Hebron Cemetery. He co-authored the book Ashby Camp Revisited. Although a native of Long Island, New York, he was a “Virginian by Choice.” “ Robert Mallin died December 7, 1999. – Page 134 of Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Volume XII published 2000.

 

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GW KURTZ

The last private owner of “George Washington’s Office”

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Disambiguation:

More than one building is referred to as the Kurtz building.

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The George Washington Office Museum is referred to as the Kurtz building. Legend has it that a Kurtz owned this bldg. when GW was around before and during the French and Indian War.  But no record of a Kurtz owning this bldg. until 1778, long after GW has moved on.

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The other building? The one across from Rouss City Hall on the east side of Cameron Street. It was the last Kurtz to have owned that bldg. and the GW Office bldg. on Cork and Braddock –  Captain George Washington Kurtz.  He ran a furniture and funeral business on the NE corner of Cameron and Boscawen.

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Take a look at the pictures of

George Washington Kurtz

at the Handley Library’s Stewart Bell Jr Archives:

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http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_criteria=%22george+washington+kurtz%22&searchButton=Search

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http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_criteria=%22gw+kurtz%22&searchButton=Search

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LINKS

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Pages 6-11 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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PAGE 250 from  Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants, A History of Frederick County, Virginia (ILLUSTRATED)  From its Formation in 1738 to 1908 Compiled Mainly from Original Records of Old Frederick County, now Hampshire, Berkeley, Shenandoah, Jefferson, Hardy, Clarke, Warren, Morgan and Frederick…..by  T. K. Cartmell Clerk of the Old County Court

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Papers of T.K.Cartmell in Handley Library Stewart Bell Archives in Winchester VA

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Photos of previous Winchester VA Mayors

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Waymarking Site on Adam Kurtz House

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PHW – History of the Adam Kurtz building

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Wikipedia Adam Kurtz building

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