When Walter and Patti Hoffman moved into 1104 Prince Edward St. at the end of 2007, it wasn’t supposed to be a permanent thing. With three young children, they rented the 1855 house while considering their options, such as building a new house in Southern Stafford.

More than 12 years later, the family is still at 1104 Prince Edward, having bought the house after quickly falling in love with life in downtown Fredericksburg.

“This is a hard decision for us,” Patti Hoffman said. “It’s a great house in a great neighborhood. The kids could walk wherever they needed to go before they were able to drive.”

Walter Hoffman doubles down on that sentiment. “I can walk to the train in 10 minutes or so. We can walk to all the restaurants and everything else downtown,” he said. And the fact that Walter had always wanted the experience of living in a historic house also influenced the decision to stay put.

Over the past 12 years, they’ve seen downtown come alive with new eateries and residential growth that make it an exciting place with a bright future. Walter adds that while downtown may be hopping, neighborhoods like those along Charles and Prince Edward streets just blocks from the center of the city remain quiet and ideal for young and growing families.

But sometimes circumstances change and work can make moving a necessity. The Hoffmans have listed the house with Sandra Hoover of Exit Realty Group in Fredericksburg. The asking price is $699,900.

The house has four bedrooms and three full bathrooms. It has 2,491 square feet of living space on two levels, plus an unfinished partial basement and crawl space. The attic is used for storage. It sits on a 0.1-acre lot and offers a deep backyard.

Though they have made no structural changes during their ownership, the Hoffmans have done significant remodeling and redecorating while leaving historic details and trim intact.

Just three doors down from the corner of Prince Edward and Amelia streets, 1104 Prince Edward was originally a basic flat-front Federal-style house with a side-gable roof.

It has looked like it does now since 1905, with the stucco-covered exterior, front-facing gable and inviting front porch with arched entryway that were added at that time. The look and timing of the changes suggest they were made to provide some Victorian flair, like neighboring houses that were built before and after the turn of the 20th century.

The history and evolution of the house shared here come mostly from a Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. report prepared for the home’s participation in the 1994 Candlelight Tour. Peggy Roethel was the report’s principal researcher. The owners at that time were Patrick and Madonna Jordan.

The oval HFFI marker at the front door notes the home’s 1855 construction for William Jeffries, a shoemaker who served as a town councilman and was an active in local organizations.

Jeffries died in 1872, but his family continued to live in the house until it was sold to Miss Hattie R. Hay in 1905. She then proceeded to make the extensive changes noted above.

The house has a side-passage design. To provide a more spacious entry, the staircase is inverted and rises from the rear of the foyer. The living room is to the right and has the classic look of a fireplace with carved mantel flanked by a pair of built-in bookcases topped with pediment arches.

Behind the living room is the dining room, which also has a fireplace, though it is currently not in use. Trim such as dining room’s crown molding and wainscoting is found throughout the main-level living areas, as is narrow-plank hardwood flooring that was probably a 20th-century replacement.

The shoulder-high hallway wainscoting was added during the Hoffmans’ ownership, as was the freestanding antique cabinet that separates the dining room from the main hallway.

An addition was built on the rear of the house between 1912 and 1919, according the city’s old Sanborn maps. That space now includes the totally remodeled kitchen and family room.

The new kitchen features marble counters, stainless steel appliances, a farm-style sink and white cabinetry. A separate cork counter, a walnut bar and tile backsplash are also part of the mix. A breakfast area at the rear of the kitchen overlooks the fenced backyard. A back door opens to the redone flagstone patio and grassy space with equipment shed.

Adjoining the breakfast area is a remodeled full bath with marble vanity, and a pantry/storage room with laundry machine hookups.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, including the master suite with two walk-in closets. The path to the master goes through the fourth bedroom, which has served as a nursery and home office. There are three cedar closets upstairs, and the flooring is the original heart pine.

The master bath has a dual marble vanity and one wall covered in shiplap. A skylight brings natural light into the interior space.

The secondary bedrooms share a hall bathroom. Nearby is an alcove that houses the laundry machines.

The basement is accessed via an exterior door from the backyard. The cozy space has a workshop and utility room with water heater, furnace and one of the two-zone HVAC system’s air handlers.

The basement provides a good look at the home’s 1855 brick foundation, and examples of the old knob-and-tube electrical system that served the house long ago.

That the house survived the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 is remarkable considering the damage and destruction that occurred in adjacent neighborhoods, either during the city’s bombardment or by rampaging Union troops.

The land on which 1104 Prince Edward sits was part of Fielding Lewis’ Kenmore Plantation. He had sold some of his land to raise money before he died in 1781, but steady development of the area didn’t take place until the late 1900s.

Richard Amrhine: 540/374-5406


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