12. Virginia Law Office 1820

"A stately townhouse now worth considerably more than the $140 it once sold for, Virginia had its inauspicious beginnings around 1817 as a modest one-room store. Its metamorphosis was in three parts, clearly identifiable. Charles McMicken, shrewd Philadelphia merchant, operated the store with such success that he was able to purchase a great deal of property in early St. Francisville and also to add a galleried 1 ½-story cottage to the structure sometime in 1826. Several decades later, a Massachusetts attorney named Lorenzo D. Brewer purchased the house and added a two-story wing; his thriving law practice would end when in 1859 he boarded the fast packet Princess at the Bayou Sara landing, bound for the opening of the state Supreme Court in New Orleans. Packed with over 200 prominent passengers, delayed by fog upriver, the boat’s crew stoked the blazing fires and tried to make up for lost time. When the Princess exploded just below Baton Rouge, Lorenzo Brewer was one of over 70 mortally wounded." Anne Butler