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This collection includes three photographs of the A-frame house built by Barry Farm early settler William Fractious in 1867-68 on the 2100 block of Elvans Road in Southeast, Washington, DC. The images were taken in 2009 by Patricia Brown Savage while conducting research on the history of Elvans Road.
In 1867, the Freedmen's Bureau created a settlement to accommodate some of the African Americans coming to Washington, DC during the Civil War. The Bureau acquired 375 acres from the Barry family across the Eastern Branch (later Anacostia River) in what was then called Washington County. The land from Barry Farm was divided into 356 one acre lots to be sold to the newly freed people.
William Fractious, born in Virginia around 1827 and his wife Lucy, were likely among those who acquired lots in the new development. A carpenter by trade, Fractious acquired lot 7 of section 3, which came with the materials needed to build an A-frame style two room house. In the 1940s, when sewage and water came to Elvans Road, the family built an addition which included a bathroom and another bedroom.
The Fractious family house on the 2100 block of Elvans Road served as the family abode for several generations over more than 140 years. By 2009 however it was abandoned, and shortly thereafter, it was razed. It is believed that this was the last example of the A-frame houses originally built in Barry Farm.
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Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Fractious family house photographs, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Patricia Brown Savage.
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020