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Object ID 1000.112.01
Title "19 Grafton Street"
Object Name Exhibit
Creator Evelyn Gerson
Description "19 Grafton Street"

House History Exhibit, produced by Julie Thomas and Susan Elwell for the Chevy Chase Historical Society. On display at the 2008 CCHS Gala.

Henrietta (Blossom) Margaret Drum Hunt Oliphant, 1861-1941

Photograph (2008.101.09):
Portrait of Mrs. Hughes Oliphant


Early Chevy Chase families often descended from and married military officers. Henrietta (Blossom) Drum is an excellent example. Blossom's mother was Lavina Morgan, from a wealthy Baton Rouge family. Blossom's father was General Richard C. Drum who served in the United States Army from 1846 to 1889, and saw service in the Mexican War and the Civil War in California.

William Offutt in Bethesda, A Social History describes General Drum's California experience: "He did well there for both the Union and himself. When he left California in 1866, deeply invested in mineral rights, the grateful citizens paid his debts and presented him with a gift of $30,000." (1)

President Chester A. Arthur attended the 1881 wedding of Blossom to Henry J. Hunt Jr. The groom was the son of General Henry Jackson Hunt, the highest-ranking artillery officer in the Union army, and was the man behind the guns, a military genius who repelled Pickett's charge at Gettysburg.

Blossom and Henry Hunt Jr. had two sons: Richard Coulter Drum Hunt born in 1883 and Henry J Hunt III born in 1885.

"In 1886 Henry Hunt Jr. died from tuberculosis after having been lost for two years during the second Artie expedition seeking the Greely party." (2) Blossom later re-married Mr. Hughes Oliphant and purchased the Grafton Street property in 1904.

The estate of the Drum family was the beginning of the town of Drummond in west Chevy Chase. The Hunt family had an estate nearby called "Langdrum" which was sub-divided to become Chevy Chase Terrace. Both neighborhoods are located to the west of Wisconsin Avenue.

What is curious is that Mrs. Hughes Oliphant moved to Grafton Street rather than staying on her own families' nearby property. It could have been that General Drum and Senator Francis Newlands, the founder of the Chevy Chose Land Company, had been friends from their California days in the 1860's. Blossom transferred the title to Grafton Street to her grandsons, M. Campbell Oliphant and Henry J. Hunt III as trustees in 1918. The property did not leave the family until 1919.

Footnotes 1 and 2: Offutt, William Bethesda, A Social History, pp.251-252.

Clipping (1000.112.01a):
Obituary of Mrs. Hughes Oliphant, March 1941

Clipping (1000.112.01b):
"Funeral Services Scheduled Today for Mrs. Cronin"

Clipping (1000.112.01c):
"Hunt Services Today; Hero's Daughter"

Clipping (1000.112.01d):
"Mrs. Susan Drum Tarr Dead"

December 1909
The Last Will and Testament of General Drum
Life estates were assigned to General Richard Coulter
Drum's two daughters. After their deaths, his estate
was to pass to his two grandsons, Richard C. Drum
Hunt and Henry J. Hunt, the two sons of Mrs. Hughes

Clipping (1000.112.e):
"General Drum's Will Filed"

19 Grafton Street

Section 2 Block 24, Part of lot 3, 4, Part of lot 5

1. Purchase of farm containing this property by the Chevy Chase Land Company November 1892 JA 36 Folio 61.
Plat Book 2 Plat 106, dated September 1909.

2. Henrietta M. Hunt Oliphant purchased from the Chevy Chase Land Company November 1904 part of lots three (3), four (4) and the east five feet front by the full depth of lot five (5) for $2,500 JLB 10 96 -97.
Henrietta M. Hunt Oliphant purchased from the Chevy Chase Land Company June 1905 another piece of lot 5 Liber 182 Folio 285-6.

Both deeds had covenants, to wit: Residences only except for stables, carriage houses and sheds. No commerce on the property. No building within 25 feet of front line of property. No house on Connecticut Avenue costing less than $5,000 and no house on side street costing less than $3,000. No building within^feet of side lot

3. Edward L. Brady purchased from Henrietta M. Hunt Oliphant and Hughes Oliphant part of lots three, four, and the east 30 feet of lot five in April 1910 Liber 212 Folio 390-391.

4. Richard C. Drum Hunt and Henry J. Hunt 3rd, trustees for Henrietta Oliphant, purchased from Edward L. Brady the above property in May 1910 Liber 212 Folio 392.

5. Henry J. Hunt, 3rd at direction of Henrietta M. Hunt Oliphant purchased from trustees Henry J. Hunt, 3rd and Richard C. Drum Hunt with deed of trust from Edward L. Brady, unmarried, the above property in February 1918 Liber 270 Folio 90-91.

6. Lillian M. Rose purchased from Henry J. Hunt 3rd and M. Campbell Oliphant, trustees the above property in February 1920 Liber 290 Folio 290.

7. Clara V. Denny purchased from Lillian M. Rose the above property in July 1920 for $12,000 Liber 294 Folio 497-498

8. John M and Ruby Lee Minar purchased from Clara V. Denny the above property in December 1920 for $$15,407.13 Liber 300 Folio 430.

9. Stanwood and Nayan Ida Cobb purchased from John M. and Ruby Lee Minar the above property in June 1923 Liber 332 Folio 482.

10. Arthur C. and Mary Lemon Lambert purchased from Stanwood Cobb, Nayan having departed this life on March 10,1967, the above property in June 1969 Liber 3878 Folio 563-564.

11. John Ellis Knowles and Florence Bryan Wisner purchased from Arthur and Mary Lambert the above property for $375,000 in June 1983 Liber 6112 Folio 206.

12. Florence Bryan Wisner purchased from John and Florence Wisner the above property in September 1992 Liber 10700, Folio 444?(illegible copy)

13. David a. Deckelbaum, Trustee, purchased from Florence Wisner Fowlkes the above property in January 2004 for...Liber 26551 Folio 521522.

Photo (2009.125.14):
19 Grafton Street

June 1923:
Stanwood and Nayan Cobb purchased 19 Grafton Street in 1923 and owned it until 1969. Even after it was sold in 1969, Dr. Cobb continued to reside in the house until his death in 1983.
Photograph (1000.112.01f):
Stanwood and Nayan Cobb, 1966

Clipping (1000.112.01g):
Bryan-Wisner Wedding Announcement

June 1983:
John Ellie Knowles and Florence Bryan Wisner purchased 19 Grafton Street in June 1983. Florence Bryan Wisner purchased the property from Ellis in 1992.

January 2004:
The current owners purchased the property in January of 2004.

17 Grafton Street

The Lambert Family built this home on the "playground" of 19 Grafton Street after purchasing the entire property including parts of lots 3. 4, and 5 in 1969 from Dr. Stanwood Cobb, giving him a "life estate," commonly known as the right to live in the 19 Grafton Street house until his death. Dr. Cobb was 88 years old at the time of the sale and lived another 13 years in his home.

Photograph (2009.125.15):
17 Grafton Street

Photograph (2008.100.16):
Arthur G. Lambert

Arthur G. Lambert was a founder and partner of the Washington law firm, Lambert, Hart and Northrop. Lambert conducted a major Washington law practice and pursued other business interests as well. He was a founder and Chairman of Suburban Hospital, and a member of the Chevy Chase Board of Managers for many years. His two law partners became judges: George L. Hart Jr. was appointed Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Edward S. Northrop became Chief Judge on the federal bench in Baltimore.

Arthur Lambert was on the Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers for twenty-two years serving as Chair of the Board for thirteen of those years. He was also "of Counsel" to the Board for fifteen years.

Due to the Dr. Cobb's continued occupancy of 19 Grafton Street, the Lambert family built a house on some of the 19 Grafton Street land. The Lambert's house is known as 17 Grafton Street.

"Suburban Village Rasies Tax Rate; Reelects Officials" (1000.112.01h)
"Chevy Chase Votes Budget of $52,400" (1000.112.01i)
"2 Named for D.C. Bar Presidency" (1000.112.01j)
"Madison Bank Stock Sale COmpleted" (1000.112.01k)
"Directors of New Madison National Bank" (1000.112.01l)