Winchester Historic House – The Jacob Sperry Tanyard House
This Winchester Historic Home definitely falls into the category of “if you’re not looking for it, you will surely miss it.” This sits down from your eye-line if you’re traveling along either Kent Street or Cork Street, so you really need to walk along if you want to get a really good look at its entirety. If you’re a fan of old stone homes, this is one you should stop by and take a look at, we found it this old stone home at 204 South Kent Street to be quite impressive. This was historically known as Lot 113 of the 1759 Fairfax Addition tot he Town of Winchester, having been granted from Lord Fairfax to George Wright, Jr.; a nicely-sized lot running 117 feet along Kent Street and 189 feet along Cork Street.
From George Wright, Jr. the property moved to John Lantz in 1766, and then came into the possession of Jacob Sperry, who was already the owner of Lot 114, in 1779. This historic home got its name quite obviously from Jacob Sperry’s ownership, but also by virtue of the fact that he reportedly conducted a tanyard out of house. (A tanyard is a part of a tannery that is dedicated to the operation of tanning vats.)
Jacob Sperry was a member of Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen and also was a party to the “Dutch Mess.” You can read more about that in the Winchester Star’s article City 275th – Morgan’s Dutch Mess as we celebrate Winchester’s 275th birthday this year with highlights of the town’s amazing history!
The heirs of Jacob Sperry conveyed the property and tanyard building, along with some other real estate, to Thomas V. Purcell in 1866. From there it has passed through several different owners, and at the time we took the following photographs was again for sale. (It has been in the possession of many generations of the descendants of Catherine Briscoe since 1885.)
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