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House called home for six generations
Rowe House undergoing an extensive restoration.

 The relocated front porch stairs rise through the garden-level porch ceiling, where beadboard to match the original (green) was installed.
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Date published: 2/8/2013


When it was built in the mid- to late 1820s, 801 Hanover St. was all by itself. Though the three-story brick structure with the full-width, three-story porch remains a notable structure along that block, it was for many early years a solitary landmark, just outside Fredericksburg’s boundary in Spotsylvania County.

Today, approaching the end of its second century and undergoing a thorough restoration by Tidewater Preservation Inc., it may be the Fredericksburg home longest held by the same family that built it. So it’s not surprising that it’s known locally as “The Rowe House.”

It is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. As a historic, owner-occupied building, the restoration work qualifies for Virginia state historic rehabilitation tax credits, which provide the owners with a dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax liability for up to 25 percent of the project cost.

Current owners Nick and Jeanette Rowe Cadwallender are living in the home’s garden-level basement while the restoration takes place. It is described in the registers as a brick Federal-style dwelling, situated on an English basement.

“This is the first place I ever lived. When I was born my parents were living in the [basement] apartment where we now live, and when I was brought home from the hospital, this was my first home,” said Jeanette. “I feel that I have come full circle to be here now.”

Jeanette Cadwallender is the daughter of former Free Lance–Star publisher Josiah Rowe III. Husband Nick Cadwallender is the newspaper’s current publisher.


The house was built by George Rowe as his family’s home and to serve his cattle butchering operation.

Rowe’s business was ideally situated at the time at the edge of town, allowing for the delivery of animals by hoof via the turnpike (the main east–west thoroughfare through the city). They could be slaughtered without offense to neighbors, then quickly transported to nearby markets in Fredericksburg.

Subsequent owners were Absalom Rowe, Josiah Rowe, Josiah Rowe Jr. and Josiah Rowe III. Jeanette Rowe Cadwallender represents the sixth successive generation to live there.

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