Believe it or not, that title is not “word salad” or aphasia: It will make sense in a minute.
On Sunday (March 22), my husband and I visited Williamsburg and (per my request) we drove to Toano (a few miles west of Williamsburg) so that I could look for houses from Penniman. I didn’t see any Penniman houses, but this little pretty caught my eye. I wasn’t sure where I’d seen it, but my first impression was “Lewis Manufacturing.”
This morning, I looked it up and sure enough, it’s a Lewis Winthrop. (Lewis was a kit-home company based in Bay City, Michigan which [like Sears and Aladdin] sold kit homes through a mail-order catalog.)
As to the title, Toano (in James City County, another interesting term) was founded in the late 1800s, and this little fork in the road was originally known as “Burnt Ordinary.” (Yeah, it puzzled me, too.) Like so many of our modern terms “ordinary” meant something a little different 200 years ago.
An ordinary was a place where food and drink was served. In the 1700s, there was an “ordinary” at that site known as John Lewis’ Ordinary, and it was subsequently named Fox’s Ordinary, which burned down in 1780. In 1781, George Washington’s cartographer marked the area as “Burnt Brick Ordinary.”
In later years, it was designated “Toano” which is an Indian word for “high ground.”
Whilst driving through the tiny town of Toano, I spotted this house and took a picture with my TV-phone (as my husband calls it).
Best of all, it was my first sighting of a Lewis Winthrop, and it’s in beautiful shape!
To read about another Lewis Home, click here.
What’s a Penniman? Click here!
As soon as I spotted this house, it tickled the neurons. I knew I'd seen it somewhere.
This morning, I pulled out my catalogs and found it! (1924 Lewis Homes).
That indented porch was a feature that caught my eye.
On the upstairs, the bathroom window is gone, which is not uncommon. These houses were built with tubs, and when it was time to put in a shower, the bathroom window often disappeared. This home had vinyl siding installed, so its easy to cover up such changes. Notice also the tiny closet window is gone. Removing this window creates a little bit more space in an already tiny closet. The "sewing room" (on the right rear) has no window on the side, which is also a good match to the house in Toano.
Close-up on the "sewing room" side.
Unfortunately, that room addition on the side looks a lot like a mobile home.
That darn tree made photographing the old house extra tough.
Pretty house! And I'm pleased that I "guessed" the right angle for my shot!