Auction 126, Lot 351

"Map of Winchester Virginia Addition Made by the Equity Improvement Company",

Subject: Virginia, Winchester

Period: 1890 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

31 x 22 inches
78.7 x 55.9 cm

This great separately issued city plan names all streets and shows individual buildings. At bottom is an elevation of the elegant Hotel Winchester. "Now Under Construction." According to the Virginia Department of History Resources (, "In 1888, to show his affection - for the people of Winchester, Judge Handley proposed a park for the city, but his friend Major Conrad persuaded him instead to help finance a large modern hotel that could serve as a summer resort. Handley chose to make the hotel only one of eleven enterprises of the Equity Improvement Company of Winchester, which he enthusiastically founded in 1889. A charter was granted to the company in 1890, with Handley as its president, and Major Conrad as vice-president. Stock was sold and predictions were made that the company would increase the material prosperity of the area and even boost the population of the city. The company purchased land in the suburbs of Winchester to lay off streets and lots for the eleven planned enterprises. A certain tract of seventy-two acres was purchased on the edge of the city, later known as "The Equity," to provide for the erection of a new school. The hotel was completed in 1891, but because of non-payment of assessments by stockholders, a general financial depression in the economy, and Handley's ailing health, it had to be sold and none of the other enterprises were begun. Judge Handley's death in 1895 brought an end to the Equity Improvement Company." Although the hotel was never built, Handley's bequest to the city lead to the construction of the Douglas School in 1927. It was the only Afro-American school in the city until 1966 when the Winchester schools were integrated. A scarce issue.


Condition: A

Folding map with archival tissue repair on verso to one fold split and a few edge tears.

Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $140

Closed on 12/3/2008