In Search Of Lawtons & Basingers: William Starr Basinger’s Contract For A House, 1872

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Savannah, Georgia

Chatham County


This agreement entered

into this twenty-sixth day of March

in the year of our Lord, One Thousand

eight hundred and seventy-two, between

W. S. Basinger of the first part, and

Grimball & Chaplin of the second part,

all of the city of Savannah.  State

and County aforesaid.  Wherewith –

That the said Grimball and

Chaplin agree to build a brick house

for the said W. S. Basinger on west

half of Lot No 62 Brown Ward of the

following dimensions, viz, Twenty-six

feet front, by thirty-eight feet deep,

with a back wing, seventeen feet

wide by twenty-nine feet nine inches

long ( or whatever the half lot will

allow.) and to be built two stories

above basement, the main body

of building to go up three stories

above basement.  The thickness of

walls will be as follows:  all outside

walls in the main body of building

in Basement and first story, one

and one half brick thick; front,

(?) and side walls next to hall,

one and one half brick thick to top of

third or last story.  Walls in Basement

story of wing, one and one half brick

thick, balance of walls one brick

thick, the front to be faced with –

Savannah River Brick.  The balance

of walls to be faced with Gray Brick,

and all inside of walls to be built

of (Hard Brown?).  The height of stories

will be, for Basement eight feet, first

story eleven feet six inches, second

story ten feet six inches, third story

ten feet.  Frieze, two feet.  all to be between

floors and ceilings.  All windows on

front above basement to have orna-

mental Iron sills and lintels, front

door to have Iron lintel and brown

stone sill.  Also a brown stone (?)

(?) on front, and brown stone

lintels to front windows on Basement.

All other windows and doors, to have

brick sills and sashes.  There will also

be built, a Brick Stoop on front

with (?), hand rails, (?)

(?) and ballusters to lead to front

door.  There will also be erected on

the rear of the Lot, a brick house

for Coal, Wood, and Water Closets

Thirty feet long by six feet wide,

divided into two parts, with two

Water Closets in each front, and also

room for Coal and Wood.  This build-

ing to be one story high, and covered

with tin.

There will be eight windows (?)

(?).  twelve by twelve glass, (?)

lights, (?) frames.  Six windows

in parlor (?) story, twelve by twenty glass

(?) lights, also one (?)

in each story of (?), (including

basement.) opening on alley.  Ten windows

in second story, twelve by eighteen

glass, twelve lights, and ten windows

in third or last story, twelve by

sixteen glass, twelve lights.  All the

windows above basement to have (?)

frames, and to be hung with (?)

and pulleys, and to have suitable

fastenings and (?).  Blinds

in (?).  All doors in basement

(?) those opening in front room

to be (?).  All other doors hinges

and the (?) to be of suitable size

and thickness to (?)

size of rooms.  The sliding doors

between parlours to be in form of an

(?) sash, with figured glass (?)

also the doors leading from back parlor

to living room to have figured glass

bevels to correspond with sliding door.

All doors above basement to have good

(?) locks, and porcelain knobs.  doors

in basement to have (?) locks and

mineral knobs.  Front door to have

an extra fine front door lock, with

singlet key attachments.  The size of

(joist?) will be as follows, for basement

two by six inches, first, second, and

third floors, two and a half by (two?)

inches, ceiling joist two and a half

by eight inches.  all to be placed

two feet from center.  (?) for (?)

(?) to be alternate, two by four and

three by four inches, placed one foot

from center.  Floors for three (?)

stories to  be (?) and one (?)

(?) flooring tongue and grooved.

(?) nailed.  floors for basement to

be (?) straight (?) flooring.

also a rough floor to be laid on

ceiling joist of last story.  The roof to

be pitched (?) and (?) from

main body of house and to (?)

two feet and to have a Galvanized

Iron Cornice, (?) Brackets, and

(?) to front and rear.

The roof of (?) to project six inches such

to have a hanging gutter.  The castings (casings?) in

basement to be four inches wide back

mouldings in front room.  Casings

in parlor story to be eight inches wide

rabbeted with heavy back mouldings

and plinth-blocks.  Casings in cham-

ber story to be seven inches wide with

suitable lock mouldings.  Base in parlor

story to have suitable base mouldings

to (?) with mouldings or

casings.  Base in chamber stories to have

a (?) lead.  All outside walls to be

furred for plastering, also all (?)

(?) above basement to be furred.

There will also be a (?) leading to

roof (?) with heavy glass to light

(?) below.  There will be a flight of

steps leading from yard to drawing room

also one leading from hall of basement

to hall of principle story.  The main flight

of stairs will lead from hall of parlor

story to hall of last story and will

be furnished with black (?) hand

rail.  (?)

ballusters.  The rooms and closets to

be divided as marked on plans.

The roof to be covered with best

quality I C tin and to have all (?)

of gutters conducted to carry of water from

the roof.  The flashing in basement story

will be one coat and white washed, except

the front room, which will be two coat

(?), hand finished.  Plastering in front

and back parlour, hall, and dining room

will be these coat (?), hand finishes

with cornices and (?) of suit-

able finish to (?) with balance

of work.  Plastering in chambers, closets,

pantry, and bath-room to be two

coat work (worth), hand finished.

All the wood work and tin to (?)

these coats of paint, all the inside

work above basement to be grained

of any color than may be desired.

All the balance of painting to be plain.

(?) to be placed in all the (?)

with suitable openings for (?)

There will also be (?), one copper

bath tub, and shower for hot and

cold water with silver plated cocks.

One last water closet, with silver plated

cup and bowl l (?).  Also one stop cock in

bath room.  One thirty gallon copper

boiler, and iron sink in kitchen with

hot and cold water.  Also one hydrant

in yard.  The bath room to be (?)

with (?), and to

be fitted (?).

(?).  And it is further agreed

that all (mantels?), grates, bells, speaking

tubes, and ranges or stoves is to be first

in by or at the (?) of said W. S.

Basinger.  In consideration of the

faithful professionals of the above (?)

the said W. S. Basinger agrees to pay

to be said Grimball & Chaplin, this

sum of nine thousand, eight hundred

and fifty-six dollars ($9856.00).  Payments

to be made as follows, when the basement

story is up, one thousand five hundred

dollars.  When the first story is up, one

thousand five hundred dollars.  When

the second story is up, one thousand

dollars.  When the third story is up,

one thousand dollars.  When the

roof is (?), one thousand dollars.

When the floors are laid, one thousand

dollars.  When the work is ready for

the plasterers, one thousand dollars.

When the plastering is finished

one thousand dollars, and the

balance of eight hundred and

fifty-six dollars when the work

is completed.

It is further agreed

that each (?)


…. the said Grimball and Chaplin

agree to simple cast the outside of

the above building in lieu of (?)

bricks and smooth joints.  Also to

(?) to all the (?)

in basement story.

Grimball & Chaplin

W. S. Basinger



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2 Responses to “In Search Of Lawtons & Basingers: William Starr Basinger’s Contract For A House, 1872”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Oh, I really enjoyed reading through this description, Ruth. I would imagine it was very new to have hot and cold water.


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