Saturday, November 10, 2012

Property amendment weakest where Obama support strongest

Republican “No More Vinegar Hills” poster while Democratic sample ballot urges a No vote on property rights, city results still not available.

Charlottesville, Va. – Tuesday’s election showed Obama supporters less likely to support property rights in Virginia than Romney supporters. While a majority in almost all localities voted Yes on the eminent domain amendment, support was lowest in urban, Democratic areas where the largest abuses have occurred.

While every locality has reported presidential and congressional results, a few are still not reporting results on the ballot questions. Charlottesville is one of those “cooling out the voters” on the property question. A future Blair’s Blog article will count up the No votes to see which precincts have the greatest support for urban renewal in 2012.

For me, the most interesting part of volunteering a couple hours on Tuesday was talking to 79-year-old Mr. Jesse Williams, who has worked politics on Election Day for 30 years.

We were talking about the New Jersey flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Williams said it reminded him of when he lived on Garrett Street. I happen to know that 5th Street is the lowest elevation of the street. So I asked about Madam Marguiretta’s brothel from the 1920s to 1940s. Williams knew the madam and added a few details to what’s been published.

After customer and Sheriff Mac Whitten busted the house of prostitution, the madam was barred from her own house for a year. [When the madam passed away] Clarence Andrews inherited the estate, ran off with a girl and met a tragic end. Williams remembered Andrews being a gambler, not a barber as others have reported.

Andrews bought the girl a brand new Oldsmobile. She ran off with the car but came back some time later, only to leave again but this time without the car. Andrews said, “if I ever find that girl, I’m gonna kill her.” And that’s what happened, murder-suicide.

The fondly remembered madam died in 1951. Her bordello became a home for the elderly. In 1972 urban renewal bulldozers and wrecking balls tore down the house. But the madam had one more surprise. Cash money came flying out of the walls, reportedly in the tens, and possibly, hundreds of thousands.

More recently in 2002 the madam gained new importance as a piece of history to disprove the modern belief that Vinegar Hill is the only urban renewal project in Charlottesville.

Presidential Results by County

Question 1 Results by County


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