Folks are reading Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude, the Civil War ended five years ago with the last battle in nearby Waynesboro, VA.
This home was constructed onsite using hand formed bricks made of clay from the property. Previously, this was work done by slaves - the 15th Amendment was ratified this same year and Confederate Virginians still don't have the right to vote until 1872. During the Reconstruction Era and just prior to the Depression of 1873 there was great disagreement between a Republican Congress and Presidents Lincoln and Johnson in regards to how the rebuilding of the southern states should proceed. In 1866, all former Confederates were removed from power by a Republican dominated Congress and the beginning of decades of disenfranchisement began for millions of US citizens.
We have not yet discovered who built the house, as this was a difficult time for all in this area and indeed our collective history. Mr. Jim Willis a local resident, who at 91, recalled that the house was a post office "for as long as he could remember and long, long before he was born" gave our research direction. Thank you sir. Jim passes away this last year, and is across the street with his wife and love Irene. I walk with my dog Choco and Cat Hops each day and chat with Jim (coffee cup in hand).
The House is the Avon Post Office
James W. Marshall, First Assistnat Postmaster General grants a commission to Mrs. Mildred A. Powers effective January 24, 1877.
Who is Mildred A. Powers? The first census begins in 1890, so that is not a resourse here. Historically, after the Civil War, many of the postmasters were women due to the high cost of war. Rosie the riveter was not new, just packaged differently.
Times are a Changing
The 1876 World's Fair in Philadelphia is often credited with healing the woulds of the Civil War. It was the Centennial and a Corliss Steam Engine powered the entire fair. Bell's Telephone is all the rage along with Edison's Telegraph/Phonograph, and the top portion of the Statue of Liberty was on display.
We Now have a list
Armed with a list of names, Next off to the local records room to see what we may unearth.
I can not find any information on Mary Powers. I did trace the house back to 1872 but can not find who built it as yet.