Fun Facts

Check out some of the fun facts that Kelsey & Associates found in the attic and under the rug while researching house histories.

New! Discovered a house on Kilbourne Place, NW (DC) to be the home of the 3rd generation of the Gawler family of J. Gawler & Sons funeral home.

New! Found living relatives of the builder and original renters of the Riverdale Apartment building in NYC and reunited them for the buildings centennial birthday celebration in 2007!

New! Revealed the location and documented the Hurd family house on Bryant Street, NW (DC), the impetuous of the US Supreme Court landmark 1948 case Hurd v. Hodge that ended racial covenants in deed transactions nationwide.

New! Documented the career of vaudeville & boxing performer known as “Swift Eagle,” a resident of Swann Street, NW (DC) in the 1930s.

New! Documented the childhood home if Judith Martin, aka “Miss Manners” on Davenport Street, NW (DC), and connected her with the home’s new owners.

New! Discovered a house on 15th Street, NW (DC) to be the original home of opera singer Herndon Morsell (1858-1937).

New! Discovered the name of the apartment building known as 67 Riverside Drive in NYC was originally called The Riverdale, and was once home to Julia Dent Grant, the daughter of US President Ulysses S. Grant.

New! Discovered living relatives of George Kozel, owner of an early German beer garden on 14th Street, NW (DC) who provided rare vintage photographs of the establishment dating from about 1900.

New! Documented several additional residences, previously unknown, occupied by Edward “Duke” Ellington and his family in Washington, DC.

Found that the first owner of a 1923 built house in Chevy Chase DC was a grand-daughter of Venerando Pulizzi, an Italian immigrant in 1805 who was asked to come to this country by the President as a talented musician, and who later became Director of the Marine Corps Band.

Uncovered an unusual combination of occupants in a Columbia Heights house that was utilized as a rooming house in 1930 and rented to immigrants and others who then spoke Yiddish, Spanish, Syrian, Russian, and American English with northern, central and southern accents.

Discovered an amusing lawsuit brought on by neighbors of a prominent Columbia Heights house in 1904, complaining of repeated, 15-hour-a-day "mad" piano playing. The owner in 2005 is also an accomplished pianist.

Documented the controversial history of Dr. William Koch and his 1937 Delray Beach, Florida house, used as a laboratory and WWII lookout for German U-Boats.

Discovered the tragic fate of the Loney family, most of whom were lost in the Lusitania tragedy in 1915, for a house history in Skaneateles, New York; and connected Loney relatives with the current homeowners.

Revealed that the prior owner of a Vermont Avenue (DC) house was Dr. James Robert Gladden, the first African-American certified in orthopedic surgery.

Determined that the ornate and unusual copper facade on a Logan Circle house (DC) was the work of Thomas C. Whyte, as an example of his work as a cornice manufacturer.

Found the former owner of a Logan Circle (DC) house was Dr. Westanna Byrom, the first African-American woman to open a dental office in Washington, DC.

Revealed the identities of the young authors of two c.1914 and c.1918 "love letters" found in the wall of a Capitol Hill home, discovering where they met, who was keeping their relationship at bay, and the fact they finally married in 1930!

Discovered a 1892 house in Georgetown was used as an art gallery for the Harriman's; Pamela being the Ambassador to France and her husband, the former Governor of New York

Revealed that a house in Georgetown was home to Jacquelyn Kennedy following the assassination of the President.

Uncovered that a house on Capitol Hill had been created from what had been a pipe organ factory.

Determined the origin of a cannonball found in the front yard of a house in Palisades was from one of the Civil War batteries located close by in the 1860s.

Found a house on Capitol Hill to have once been used as an elite Congressional club!

Determined that ornate ceiling murals on a house in Bloomingdale had been painter by a former owner about 1910, he being a stage and scenic designer at the Howard Theater.

Found a house in the Greater U Street area to have been used as Frelinghuysen University, a local institution led by famed Anna J. Cooper for the education of working class African Americans in the 1920s.

Determined that Duke Ellington played his first concert as a youngster at the True Reformer Building on U Street, charging 5 cents for admission, and determined where he lived in the neighborhood.

Concluded that a Georgetown House with a plaque stating it was built in 1840 was actually built in 1930!

Determined that a house in Friendship Heights that was thought to have dated from 1939 was actually a remodeled farmhouse built in 1854.

Uncovered that a prominent house along Massachusetts Avenue had once belonged to an infamous Taiwanese man who provided ladies to "entertain" Congressmen at the home!

Researched the use of a home's rear outbuilding's in Georgetown that were used by inventor Alexander Graham Bell as his laboratory.

Found that a house in Logan Circle that had plywood floors in the closets had actually once been outfitted with a four story elevator.

Determined that hundreds of crutches found in an attic in a Logan Circle home had been left there about 1910 by a physician who once owned the home.

Revealed the name of a former home owner, whose initials had been found on a sterling silver spoon found in the yard of a Shaw home.

Documented that performers such as Aretha Franklin and Sarah Vaughn and Pear Bailey played n a recreated club coined "Bohemian Caverns" on U Street.

Found a house in Chevy Chase to have been a mail order house from the Sears catalog!