246 (formerly 242) 7th Street, Block 173/Lot 1
Edward and Lucy Richardson House (no longer exists)
The earliest record for this property dates back to February 25, 1890. It is a deed transferring ownership of the lot from Annie Orman, Mrs. Sarah Orman and Miss Sarah Orman (heirs of William Orman, son of Thomas Orman.) to a Lucinda Walton. William Orman owned an enormous number of properties on the Hill, having purchased them for next to nothing for non-payment of taxes after the Civil War. Then, on August 26, 1903, Lucinda Walton sold the property to Edward Richardson.
Edward Richardson was born in 1867 in Columbus, GA and, as a young man, worked there as a porter in a store and as a house painter. By the age of 26, he had made his way to Apalachicola where, one year later (1894), he married Lucy Venable, the teen-aged daughter of Prince and Kizzie Venable. At that time, Prince Venable was a 54-year-old sawmill laborer (probably at the Cypress Mill at Scipio Creek) and veteran of the Civil War's "Colored Infantry." Mr. Venable owned several lots in Block 174, including Lot 10 which sits on the east side of 7th Street directly across from what was to become the Richardson lot.
Ed and Lucy had four children, but two died as babies. Their son, Edward Jr, died at age 11 while swimming in Scipio Creek, leaving them with one daughter, Emma, born in 1895. Two weeks after Edward Jr died, Edward and Lucy bought Lot 1, Block 173 from Lucinda Walton for $150. Edward worked as a house painter except for a brief interim in the 1920s when he worked as a ship's carpenter. Lucy worked off and on as a domestic servant and a washwoman.
Three days after Christmas in 1934, Lucy Venable Richardson died and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery. It was reported that her age at her death was 54 years, 3 months and 2 days. If this is true, her birth date was September 24, 1880 and her first child (Edward Jr) was born when she was 12 and she was married at 14.
The 1935 census, a year after Lucy's death, states that Edward Richardson was 67 years old, unemployed and renting at an unspecified address. Edward must have died before the 1940 census from which he is absent.
From the 1940s through the 1960s, Tom Rhodes (son of Ruffin Rhodes and Emma Richardson) owned and lived in the Richardson home and ran a grocery store and gas station that he built on the Avenue M side of the property.
The Richardson home eventually disappeared. When the current owners of the property were preparing the lot for building their house, they discovered a cement slab which probably sat at the foot of the stairs leading up to the old Richardson home and, carved into the cement, are the words "Edward and Lucy Richardson's Estate."