Sunday, February 14, 2010

Richmond - Maupin-Maury House

Having moved to Richmond, I have been excited about the prospect of exploring this historic city. My first excursion was today. I set out armed with the address of the Maupin-Maury House, the house where Betty Herndon Maury's father, Matthew Fontaine Maury, stayed when he was in Richmond during the Civil War. I found the address, 1105 East Clay Street, in Mary Wingfield Scott's book, Houses of Old Richmond. It's location was near the White House of the Confederacy (1201 East Clay Street) which I had visited in the past. I don't remember when I was there, but I had in my mind a vision of the location.

It turns out that there has been a lot of construction in the area since I was last there, and I did not recognize the area at all. Furthermore, the Maupin-Maury House was not there. I did some research after I got back home and discovered that the house was moved in 1992 to 1016 East Clay Street to make way for the construction of new Virginia Commonwealth University and Medical College of Virginia buildings, which now dwarf the White House of the Confederacy. There has been talk of moving the White House of the Confederacy as well, although the experience of moving the Maupin-Maury House seems to have given pause to this idea. The Maupin-Maury House could not be moved intact. It was disassembled and then reassembled in its new location. As a result the house was removed from the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. It left me feeling sad.

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