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100 Years Later: Raymond Avenue

posted Apr 26, 2014, 10:59 PM by Cressie Hill
(from the Spring 2014 Crescent Hill Community Council newsletter)

In 1913, William B. Hunter compiled a new map of Louisville and Jefferson County, Ky, based on actual surveys, and official records, for the Louisville Title Company. Today, the maps are available as part of the University of Louisville’s University Archives and Records Center, and are readily accessible at Maps 17-18 and 29-30 provide a glimpse of what Crescent Hill looked like 100 years ago.

In 1913, Crescent Hill’s western boundary was, as it is today, Ewing Avenue. However, south of Frankfort Avenue, the street was known as Raymond Avenue. Based on the 1913 map, Raymond Avenue extended beyond the point where South Ewing today ends and connected to what is today known as Grinstead Drive.

George D. Raymond had farmed several acres of land, in the late 1800’s, in the area where Walgreens is today[1]. Raymond’s land was at the center of a precedent-setting court cases in Kentucky law regarding forcible entry.

Raymond, along with several neighboring land owners had been very interested in extending streetcar service to their neighborhood, but the turnpike, where Frankfort Avenue is today, would not permit streetcars to use the road. The landowners, therefore, sold, or gave, a 15 foot deep strip of land, next to the turnpike to the street car company. Access to the street cars, in turn, increased the value of these landholders’ properties, so many were sold for residential use, including Raymond’s farm.

When the city of Louisville expanded to include Crescent Hill, it purchased the old turnpike, and allowed street cars to use the center of the road. The small slice of property was forgotten until a real estate agent hatched a scheme.  He spoke with Raymond’s heirs and obtained a deed for one of the small strips. He then attempted to sell it to the home owner whose only method of exit from his property was through the 15 foot strip. If the homeowner wouldn’t buy it, then the real estate agent threatened to put up a fence. One night, he did just that. When the home owner awoke to find the fence, he tore it down and built his own fence enclosing the 15 foot strip along with his home.  The real estate agent pressed charges against the homeowner for “forcible entry” and won the case, which was upheld through appeals to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The court decided that real estate agent was acting in good faith with respect to the deed he had when he built the fence. The homeowner also had a deed. But when the homeowner acted to tear down the fence of the real estate agent and build his own, it was then that he was guilty of “forcible entry.” The case is known as Check v. Reiter, filed May 14, 1907).