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Bassett Hall Chronology

Year
Owner or Occupants
Late 17th century to 1753:
Bray family
ca. 1749 – 1753:
Col. Thomas Bray
1753 – 1789:
Col. Philip Johnson and wife, Elizabeth Bray Johnson
1771 – 1773:
Richard Hunt Singleton, renter
ca. 1793 – 1796:
Richard Corbin
1796 – ca. 1840:
Burwell Bassett
1840 – 1843:
Abel Parker Upshur
1843 – 1845:
John Coke
1845 – 1869:
Col. Goodrich Durfey
1869 – 1879:
Israel Smith
1879 – 1927:
Smith heirs
10/22/27:
Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin acquired the property for Colonial Williamsburg, granting Edith and Alice Smith life tenancy.
5/16/30:
Fire destroys most of the roof and part of the second floor interiors; most earlier portions remain intact.
8/17/31:
Life tenancy in the main house is released in exchange for a monthly stipend and a life right in Bassett Hall cottage for Edith Smith and a stipend for Alice Smith.
12/27/33:
Colonial Williamsburg deeds all of Bassett Hall property, except nine and one-half acres on which the house is located, to John D. Rockefeller Jr.
11/36:
The Rockefellers move into Bassett Hall.
4/25/36:
Colonial Williamsburg transfers nine and one-half acres with the house to Bassett Hall Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Colonial Williamsburg, Inc.
1/30/42:
Bassett Hall Inc. transfers nine and one-half acres with the house to John D. Rockefeller Jr.
10/21/43:
Edith Smith dies, ending all Smith life rights to Bassett Hall.
11/18/48:
John D. Rockefeller Jr. gives Bassett hall to John D. Rockefeller 3rd, reserving a life interest for himself.
5/11/60:
John D. Rockefeller Jr. dies. John D. Rockefeller 3rd assumes responsibility for Bassett Hall.
7/10/78:
John D. Rockefeller 3rd dies leaving Bassett Hall property to family members who present it to Colonial Williamsburg.
5/9/79:
John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund Inc. gives furnishings of Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg.
6/15/80:
Bassett Hall opens to the public as a house museum.
2000 – 2002:
Bassett Hall undergoes renovation
12/9/02:
Bassett Hall reopens to the public

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