Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dr. William R. Wilmer's Lot 3

The other day Pete posted some of Elsie's research on Dr. Wilmer and then followed up with a photograph reputed to be Wilmer's office. That building, as Pete noted, has collapsed and lies just north of Stagg Hall and the barn on Chapel Point Road. I did a little title searching today and found that Dr. Wilmer owned Prospect Farm, a tract he acquired from the heirs of George Dent, and Lot 3 in Port Tobacco.

The Port Tobacco deed (GWC 1/408) is dated 31 March 1864. Dr. Wilmer purchased the land (acreage undisclosed) from Elijah and Mary Day for $1,000, the price indicating that it was a developed lot. Dr. Wilmer's land had previously sold for $1,000 in 1855 and 1827. The deed describes the parcel as Lot 3 on the plat of Port Tobacco, previously called Charles Town. That plat has not surfaced and we are using lot references in deeds to reconstruct the layout of the town. If the downed building does indeed occupy Lot 3, that is an important clue.

Other numbered lots that we have encountered are: 1, 20, 33, 34, 47, and 48. Lot 1 appears to be Chimney House by the courthouse.

There is a problem with this approach: some deeds reference lots (33 and 34) of Chandler's Town, others Charles Town/Port Tobacco. In the end, the towns are the same...it isn't clear whether the Chandler's Town lot system carried over to Charles Town, formally erected by legislative act in 1727. We'll see...I hope.


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