Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Rusmisell & Fury Addition

See the photo from which the poster at the left was taken at the entry for Dec 09, '06 Lot Sale & Band Concert, July 13

From David Parmer:

In 1905 Dr. James A. Rusmisell, a former Orlando doctor, was living in Gassaway where he had moved to be closer to the new opportunities opening up in the new town of Gassaway. Gassaway had been selected by Henry Gassaway Davis, President of the Coal and Coke Railroad, as the location for railroad shops for the newly completed railroad and a new town was growing up around the railroad shops on the banks of the Elk River.

While Dr. Rusmisell was located in Orlando he had purchased a section of the hill overlooking Orlando from the west and in the area of the later built Orlando School and the United Brethren Church. Dr. Rusmisell's home was also on this bluff overlooking the downtown area of Orlando. Mike Moran and Francis M. Blake, postmaster of Orlando, also lived in large houses on this hill.

After moving to Gassaway and wanting to dispose of his Orlando holdings he enlisted the financial support of a partner, Mr. Fury, and caused his real estate to be surveyed off into lots. Dr. Rusmisell hit upon the idea of a land auction combined with a brass band concert to liven up the bidding.

On July 14, 1905, the land auction of the Rusmisell & Fury Addition to Orlando was held with apparent good results. No one ever said that the Irish didn't like a good band, and many of the area Irishmen showed up to enjoy the Burnsville Brass Band and to place bids on the lots put up for sale. The names of the purchasers of the auctioned lots reads like a who's who of the Orlando Irish. Among those purchasing lots were John E. Moran, M. A. Rush, Michael Rush, J. P. Kelley, T. M. Moran, T. T. Dolan, P. F. Feeny. J. P. Moran, J. M. Tillman, Anna R. Tully, Margaret R. Tully, M. P. Tully, Peter Sweeney, John Moran, Biddie Griffin, James Griffin, Will E. Herman, James Farrell, John Carroll, C. E. Griffin, J. T. Farrell, and Lizzie Tully. Others purchasing lots were D. J. Fury, Dr. Rusmisell's partner, G. W. Beall, P. S. Nicholson, I. N. Brown of Burnsville, , N. A. Skinner, and the Salt Lick District Board of Education which wanted to build a new school to serve the growing population of Confluence, as it was then known. The school house lot purchased by the Salt Lick District Board of Education was a nice sized lot of 6780 square feet located at the corner of Academy Street and Highland Street.

The interesting survey map of the Rusmisell & Fury Addition of Orlando in addition to siting the locations of the existing Mike Moran, Dr. Rusmisell, and Francis Blake houses also shows the location of the Orlando I. O. O. F Lodge No. 194 which was located on the western bank of Oil Creek and on the lower side of the Oil Creek Road as it turns to go up Oil Creek after coming off the hill. The Orlando I. O. O. F. later merged into the Burnsville I. O. O. F. Lodge, hence the Orlando flavor of the Burnsville Lodge previously mentioned in an earlier article.

Above right is a photo of the bluff taken in the 1960s and below that is a current map of the Rusmisell & Fury Addition located on that bluff.

We don't know which band played at the Lot Sale, but if it wasn't the Burnsville Brass Band, we suspect it would have looked a lot like this photo of the Burnsville Brass Band taken a couple of years after the land auction. (Frank Amos is the tall lad standing in the back row with the trombone. Three of the Burnsville Fidler clan, Wes, George and Charlie, and Roy Brosius Jr and Cy Taylor are also shown.}

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