he story of the buildings on the west side of Wayne is set in two lots of Cottage Park: Lot 8 is 50 feet wide and runs along Wayne 175 feet from Newton south to the alley. Lot 9 is the same width and runs adjacent to Lot 8, sharing its eastern boundary with Lot 8's western.
In February 1909 MB Harlow, the developer, sold the empty Lot 8 to John Massey, who turned around and sold it to investor John Normoyle three weeks later, who in turn sold it to Helena Elliott in September 1910. Two houses were built, the larger two-story one that is now 1404 Wayne, and a smaller single-story that is now gone, but occupied what would now be 1408 Wayne. Unfortunately, we do not know whether it was Normoyle or Elliott who built the houses; she took out a $1,400 mortgage at the time, a substantial sum, but it is not clear if it funded the purchase the land with two houses from Normoyle, or if it was a construction loan to build them herself. In any event, the houses were up in 1911. In preparation for splitting the property she refinanced with two separate mortgages, one of $800 for the northern half and one of $1200 for the southern.
The Merchants at 1408
In August 1912 Elliott sold the northern half of Lot 8, and the smaller house, to Benjamin and Laura Weitzman, who assumed an existing Elliott mortgage and took one out themselves to pay for it. They defaulted two years later and it was sold at auction to Harris and Esther Levy, real estate investors, in January 1914 for $1,051. They appear to have rented it out until July 1920, when they sold it to Maurice and Mary Kelly, who then promptly turned around and sold it to Maude Monroe in December 1921, and then she sold it to SM Anderson in June 1924.
Samuel Mark Anderson, a short and slim man, had been born in April 1899 in Ellicott City and moved to Alexandria to try his hand at retail grocery. He started out as a clerk and on the last day of 1923 married his wife Helen Maria. Six months later he realized his ambition, buying the northern half of Lot 8 with its single-story house, taking out two $1,500 mortgages with Burke & Herbert. He used a portion of that money to expand the house out the back all the way to the property line and to north. This now served as a grocery store in the front and the Anderson house in the rear.
It must have gotten crowded in the small house portion, for daughter Frances joined the family in February 1927. In fact, the close quarters probably contributed to Helen's to file for divorce. Mark contested it, but lost and the decree was entered in October 1936. Interestingly, Frances stayed with her father.