Signed in as:
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Continuing the history of the house into the early 1900s, the major period of change for the house to what you see today.
John M. Spotts
John Spotts was born in 1860 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia where his father, James, ran a store for over 10 years before moving his family to Tazewell County, Virginia, where he re-established the family business. John worked in this father's store along with his brothers.
After John married Edmonia Preston, he and his wife decided to move to Staunton, and so in 1885, John went to work as a bookkeeper for the Eagle, Spitler, and Company grocery store, eventually gaining business partners and taking over the business. By the early 1900s, the J. M. Spotts Grocery Company was operating out of 4 street addresses in the Wharf area of Staunton, John was a trustee for Mary Baldwin College, was active on the Staunton Council, local Freemasons, and the First Presbyterian Church. He helped bring electricity and street trolleys to Staunton.
In 1900, three years after his wife gave birth to their only child, a daughter named Charlotte, the family had bought and were extensively remodeling "Little Kalorama". They hired the local noted architectural firm of T.J. Collins and Sons, to design the remodel.
The Collins remodel included raising the then existing roof-line, adding new doors and windows to the front of the house, two new stairways, a foyer which included a intricate carved wood ceiling, a semicircular attic window and dormers on the sides of the house, two bay windows, one each on opposite sides of the house, a fully equipped upstairs bathroom, and a lighted stained glass window on the front of the house which showed the number 9, that was the house number at the time. There was also a impressive porch added to the front and sides of the house, but was subsequently removed.
Interestingly, comparing the Collins blueprints to the house today shows that either not all design changes were made as planned, or were changed in later years. However, most of the changes are still in place and are what gives the house much of its character today.
By 1920, John Spotts discontinued his grocery business, and started work as an auditor for the federal government. In addition to his wife and daughter, the household also included a servant and three other adult couples, one with a new born infant, who were staying at the house as boarders. John died of colon cancer in 1925, Edmonia in 1932, but Charlotte continued to stay in the house until 1988.
Her story in detail begins on the next page.
The Society for Victorian Arts and Culture
22 South Coalter Street, Staunton, Virginia 24401, United States
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