I searched the Historic Sanborn Maps to see if I could determine when the cigar maker cottage was built. The first map dates back to 1889 and it shows houses that existed as of that date. 1117 Watson Street was on that map except back then it was numbered 211 Watson Street. I am making an assumption here that the number 211 Watson was given because Watson Street began at Division Avenue, which is now known as Truman Avenue. This house is in the second block of Watson Street. In looking at the map I learned that numerous cigar numerous other cigar maker cottages fronted on to Watson Street while others ran perpendicular east from Watson. In the 1912 map a wide space just south of the adjacent house was identified as "On Set Court". That space today is where the shared pool in the Conch Grove Compound is located.
I then dug down into my old shoebox and found a photo of 1117 Watson Street that was taken in 1965. It is shown immediately below. I created a new image that shows the same house nearly fifty years apart. Take a look at all the changes.
|This visage is now "history". The entry door is reversed to the south side and provides real access once again.|
The Conch Grove Compound is an assemblage of twelve homes many of which were original cigar maker cottages that were updated by different owners over the years. James Kirkwood (co-author of A Chorus Line) and the late David Kaufelt were among the original compound owners. All homes share the large and sunny pool and park-like common areas. The monthly association fee is $200 which covers common area and pool maintenance.