J.A. Barrett

Known Name(s)

J.A. Barrett


724 Gibbon Alexandria, VA

Establishment Type(s)

Tourist Home

Physical Status



N/A. The current house on the site was constructed in 1979. Sanborn insurance maps indicate that the Barrett Tourist Home was a two-story frame dwelling with a one-story front porch and a rear one-story addition. By 1942, the original slate or tin roof had been replaced with a composition roof. The front porch had a slate or tin roof. There was a large outbuilding at the southwest corner of the lot. 1962 photos courtesy of City of Alexandria.

The house currently on the lot was constructed in 1979 and designed by architects Lewis and Wisnewski.



Detailed History

Jerry A. Barrett was part of the migration of African Americans from rural sections of Virginia to small-and-mid-sized Virginia cities that occurred in the late nineteenth century. His obituary mentions that he was born in Coversville, Virginia, south of Charlottesville. The 1900 census indicates that Barrett, a railroad porter, and his wife Cora lived at 613 South Columbus Street with their son Howard and daughters Ardell and Evelyn.

Barrett purchased a house and lot on Gibbon and South Columbus,this property,from Ida Jones in 1904. A decade later, the children moved to their own homes and Barrett's his mother-in-law, Martha Clark, and sister-in-law, Rose Clark, joined the household. They both worked as cooks in private homes. By 1920, Barrett worked as a janitor at the Alexandria National Bank, where he worked until he passed away in 1934. The 1929 census includes grandson Jerrie Batton (also Jerry W. Bratton) in the household. As Barrett died four years before his house was listed in the Green Book, his wife Sarah and his in-laws must have operated the tourist home, possibly to make up for the loss of his income. Although the woman worked as cooks and hairdresses, opening their home to tourists would have brought in much-needed revenue.

Alexandria building permits indicate that by 1958 the house was owned by Robert Terrell. The house was rented out as apartments, with one family living upstairs and one living downstairs. From 1958 - 1978, when it was sold as part of a multi-parcel transaction, the house received numerous Code violations. 

(Thanks to Krystyn Moon for much of the information on the Barrett family).


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