The Woodward-Davis House

The Woodward-Davis House

The first recorded resident at 820 Pine Street was a widow by the name of Mrs. Bettie Myer who lived there, according to the city directory, in 1888. By 1900, the house was owned by Ben Woodward, a carpenter, and his wife, Ellen. They lived there with their three children before moving to Broad Street.

By 1910 it was the Davis family who owned and occupied the house. Andrew Jackson Davis was born April 2, 1856 in Caswell county. He married Capitola Virginia Shelton in 1879. Capitola was born in Milton, NC in 1862. Upon arriving in Danville, shortly after their marriage, the couple joined the Main Street Methodist Church. The Davises were said to have lived in Danville during its “swiftest era of development.” Capitola was active in community service while Mr. Davis worked as an engineer for the fire department. The couple had five children—four daughters and a son. Mr. Davis died in 1921. Months before, their second eldest daughter returned home, having separated from her husband. Annie Elizabeth’s divorce from William Highfill was finalized just ten days after her father’s death. She remained in the home with Mrs. Davis for many years after.

The house was a large one, and so the family supplemented their income by taking in lodgers and renting a portion of the house out as an apartment.

In 1924, while visiting her daughter in Winston-Salem, Mrs. Davis became seriously ill and remained there, convalescing for several weeks. In 1929, according to papers, she relocated to her daughter’s Winston-Salem home, but she can’t have remained there long as she’s listed in the 1930 Census as owning, and residing at, the Pine Street residence. Sometime before 1935, daughter Annie moved out and Mrs. Davis’ eldest daughter, Ella and her husband Frederick Farley moved in, probably to care for Mrs. Davis in her weakening health. From the house Mr. Farley operated his heating oil business, by which he provided (as advertised in the papers of the time) “Oil Heat for New Homes.”

Mrs. Davis passed away on February 12, 1938.

That year the house was sold to Peter George Maurakis, who moved into the home with his wife Irene, three sons and a daughter-in-law. Mr. and Mrs. Maurakis were both from Greece where they were born, where they met and where they married and had their first child before coming to the United States in 1910. Upon arriving in Danville Mr. Maurakis established a café, in which the entire family assisted (see the story on Downtown Restaurants). The family remained in the house into the late 1970’s.

Mr. Maurakis died in 1963. Irene passed nineteen years later in 1982, after which the house stood vacant for a time. In the 1990’s it served as the Gough’s Home for Adults.

In 2003 C.B. Maddox and Bill Wellbank rescued the house and began the long process of rehabilitating it. The nearly 3,500 square foot Folk Victorian style house is presently available. See the listing.

One Comment

Comments are closed.