The Freedmen’s Bureau Records, West Point, VA 1865: Lot 431


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Based on a review of available evidence and documentation, lot 431 is the first property listed in the Report of Abandoned Property in the Freedmen’s Bureau records for West Point, VA (1865). 

In the report, A.G. Baylor is listed as the former owner and the property type is a store. The comments indicate that it was “taken up as abandoned property July 24th as no one was in possession and no agent properly accredited.”

In the King William Land Book 1863, A.G. Baylor is listed as the taxpayer for lot 431. The value of the building is $200 and total value is $300. Based on census records, A.G. appears to be Alexander Galt Baylor born about 1835.

A.G. Baylor sold the building and lot to George R. Baylor for $500. In that Deed dated February 22, 1868, lot 431 is described as “fronting on D Street fifty feet and running back on Seventh Street one hundred and fifteen feet; it being the same lot which was conveyed to said A. G. Baylor by the West Point Land Company by deed dated 22nd March 1862” (KW burned records, Book 16, i468).

In 2018, 1/2 of lot 431 is the Law Office of Joseph Caprio at 704 Main Street; the other half of lot 431 is owned by the Indian Rivers Humane Society and is the now the home of the 4 Paws Thrift Store.

Lot 431 (702-704 Main Street) is described in West Point’s application for the National Historic Register in 1996 as the former home of Bray’s Drugs and the A&P Grocery Store. It appears on the 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map:

exxhange hotel

For purposes of this brief introduction to the properties mentioned in the Freedmen’s Bureau records, only a few interesting facts from 1862 until 1909 are included in the timeline. There are several other mysteries, fascinating stories about previous occupants, primary documents and articles discovered in the research that will be addressed at a later date.  Stay tuned!

Brief Timeline for West Point Lot 431 (702-704 Main Street)

Year Owner/Comments
1862 West Point Land Company to A.G. Baylor
1863 A.G. Baylor on tax list, value of building $200, lot $100
1865 Listed as “abandoned” property on Freedmen’s Bureau report
1867 George R. Baylor  (value of building $200, lot $100)
1871 Owner is Fritz Schroeder, born in Prussia in 1825. He was West Point’s Postmaster in 1881 and on Town Council in 1876. Building value is still $200, but now the lot value is $500. Records suggest ½ of 2 other lots may have been combined with lot 431 which explains the value increase.
1886 Fritz Schroeder remains listed as the owner, but value is now $1050 for the building.
1889 Owner is E. Wilkinson (value of building is $1200, specifically lists value of lot as $500)
1898 Owner is E. Wilkinson (value of building has decreased to $600, lot is now $150)
1903 Owner is E. Wilkinson (value of building on the lot is $2000, lot is $150)
1905-1909 Owner is J. Hess & Son (value of building is $2200, lot is $375)

The This Old House Series, West Point, VA Edition is designed to highlight answers to a few questions, provide a preview of the extensive hours of research completed, and encourage further dialog. If you are interested in receiving additional information for a particular property, locality, family history, or court case, contact Theresa Sirles with REACH Consulting for a custom quote: (804) 843-3495, via e-mail at or by text at (804) 310-0516. 

You may also purchase full reports which include copies of all source documents and detailed footnotes. Follow us on Facebook at REACH Consulting, LLC and view snippets of local history at Three Rivers History VA.  If you build upon what is published with your own follow up research, please mention us in the credits. It’s the Southern thing to do. 😉 Keep calm and do history.



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