1820 12 21: This document is believed to be the bill for the 1820 addition of a second full story to the frame portion of Mahockney, along with other renovations.
The bill is addressed to Henry W. Latane, born in 1782 and therefore in his late twenties at the time. Henry was the older brother of William Catesby Latane and Thomas Latane; their father William Latane had split up his land among them, with Henry getting one plantation (“The Meadow quarter”) and William Catesby “the Mahockney land.” So in 1820, Henry as the older brother and keeper of the finances (and administrator of the father’s estate) contracted to expand the Mahockney house.
Households were expanding; brothers Henry and William C. Latane were both recently married (Henry in 1819, W.C. in 1816), and in February 1820 W.C. Latane and wife Ann Elizabeth (Burwell) had their first child. So, the need for more space. Within several years Henry would build his own place at The Meadow as he started producing children, leaving William Catesby as owner of the Mahockney land and its plantation house.
The builder responsible for the 1820 work, Fielding Saunders Crow, was a well-documented builder in Essex County and the Middle Peninsula, and was also hired later for The Meadow.
(Click here for a high-resolution image of the construction bill.)
“Mr. Henry W. Latane, D’or [Debtor]
to Fielding S. Crow
1820, December 21
- 2177 Feet of Fraimming @ 6/ pr 100 $21.77
- 1088 Feet of Weather boarding @ 4/6 pr 8.00
- 886 Feet of Lathing & shingling @ 7/6 pr 11.07
- 64 Feet of Drape Cornish @ 1/3 pr Foot 12.86
- 88 Feet of Bayse [?] & Cornor boards @ /12 pr foot 1.84
- 96 Feet of Cheare Boards [chair-rails?] @ 1.2 pr Foot 1.58
- 1024 Feet of Floors @ 1/ pr hundred 10.24
- 36 Lits of sash @ /9 pr Lite 4.54
- 3 8-lits window james @ 6/ pr peace 3.00
- 3 4-lits window james @ 3/ pr peace 1.50
- 2 Doors and Caising the same @ 10/6 3.50
- 1 paire of stepts @ 9/ 1.50
- 200 Feet of Sills Trime @ 9/ pr hundred 3.00
1821, August 24
- 2 houses, 12 Feet square $40 pr peace 80.00
- 1 Small hous in the Garding [garden] 8 by 6 Feet 16.00
Work done for Mr. H. W. Latane
$180.04″ [note transposed amount of cents from total]
This document was observed in the boxed “Papers of the Lewis and related Latane families,” University of Virginia, Special Collections Library, Charlottesville Va.
For validation purposes, note this 1898 photograph of Mahockney, and compare the elements visible in the left-hand (south) frame portion of the house, to the elements in the construction bill.
The construction bill lists the following:
- 36 Lits [window panes]
- 3 8-lits window james [jambs]
- 3 4-lits window james
Visible in the photograph are 3 eight-pane windows, on the second story on the left (in the gambrel roof). There is also a small window on the south side of the second story, by the chimney; it is likely a 4-pane window. One might assume that there are a couple of second-story windows on the back side of the house, and that only 4-pane windows were used for those as they weren’t on the fancier front of the house.
Note that the construction bill does not include any 9-over-6 or 6-over-9 window panes or jambs; yet these are the only windows on the first story of the frame house, and on the brick (north) side of the house.
Thus one may conclude that the 1820 construction work was to raise an existing one or one-and-a-half story frame Mahockney house to a full two stories, along with a new staircase, renovated flooring, chair-rails, weather-boards, and the associated framing and shingling for a new gambrel roof itself.
Among many remaining questions: when was the brick half built?
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