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Bassett Hall Chronology

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
Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin acquired the property for Colonial Williamsburg, granting Edith and Alice Smith life tenancy.
Fire destroys most of the roof and part of the second floor interiors; most earlier portions remain intact.
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.
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.
The Rockefellers move into Bassett Hall.
Colonial Williamsburg transfers nine and one-half acres with the house to Bassett Hall Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Colonial Williamsburg, Inc.
Bassett Hall Inc. transfers nine and one-half acres with the house to John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Edith Smith dies, ending all Smith life rights to Bassett Hall.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. gives Bassett hall to John D. Rockefeller 3rd, reserving a life interest for himself.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. dies. John D. Rockefeller 3rd assumes responsibility for Bassett Hall.
John D. Rockefeller 3rd dies leaving Bassett Hall property to family members who present it to Colonial Williamsburg.
John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund Inc. gives furnishings of Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg.
Bassett Hall opens to the public as a house museum.
2000 – 2002:
Bassett Hall undergoes renovation
Bassett Hall reopens to the public

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