Passed Residents Excited?
Stabilization of 808 Green Street is nearly complete. Diversified Services has made all manner of repairs including a rebuild of the once-beautiful front porch cupola. It is now structurally sound with a red metal roof that matches the body of the home.
From top to bottom, gutters and downspouts will be replaced, corbels repaired or replicated, siding scraped to bare wood (see photo for progress) and repainted, and windows and doors restored. Also, the second floor bump-out over the front porch will be removed to restore the original façade.
The date of construction was between 1873 and 1877 (when it appeared on the F. W. Beers map of Danville). By 1900, the home was owned by J. Henry Griggs. Griggs was a principle in the construction of the narrow-gauge Danville and Western Railway, known locally as the “Dick and Willie.” (The Old West End was a popular place for employees of the steam railroads to live.)
Mr. Griggs sold the home to Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Booth sometime before 1920. Booth was a grocer, operating a store just around the corner at Five Forks for may years.
Sadly, in 1931, a son of Mrs. Booth from a former marriage, Coleman S. Edwards, strangled himself with a belt in the home. Though no note was found, he had been unwell for several years. Oddly, his brother Benjamin also died by suicide two years earlier by taking poison. While Bennie died on Patton Street, his services were held at the 808 Green Street residence as were his brother’s.
The Booths regularly rented furnished rooms in their home. After Mr. Booth’s death in 1959, his widow, Louise, continued the practice until her death in the home in 1965. One of her boarders was Melvin “Lefty” Adams, a former professional baseball pitcher. He continued in the home, passing there in 1976.
In 2001, the home was acquired by DOVES, Inc. DOVES is an acronym for Domestic Violence Emergency Services, and the home was to become a shelter. Abandoned due to tax issues, the property passed into city hands in 2016.
Even today, workers there have questioned the home’s provenance. It seems that former residents are excited to see its restoration underway.