Tenleytown Neighborhoods & Subdivisions- Robeyville

Robeyville was how the 4400 block of Alton Place came to be known because many of its original houses were either built or occupied, in some cases both, by members of the Robey family.

 

Most of the houses were built in the first decade of the twentieth century.  In the 1920s and 1930s the Robeys built several houses on the south side of the 4400 block of Albemarle Street.  Their back yards abutted those of the Alton Place houses and some Robey descendants believe they were considered part of Robeyville.

 

In August 1898, David Stone platted Asbury Park.  It was just over six acres, a small subdivision especially when compared with nearby American University Park subdivided a few years earlier by Stone and J.D. Croissant.

 

Asbury Park, like American University Park, was part of the Addison portion of Friendship, the 3,124-acre tract patented to Addison and Stoddert in 1713.  In 1865, W.D.C. Murdock, Addison’s descendant, subdivided a part of Friendship south of Murdock Mill Road, extending to River Road on the east and across Massachusetts Avenue to the west.  One of these parcels, the Deakins farm just south of Murdock Mill Road, ultimately became Asbury Park.

 

While American University Park attracted real estate men from the City of Washington like Stone and Croissant, Asbury Park, despite David Stone’s initial involvement, was definitely a Tenleytown enterprise.  T. J. Giles, a Tenleytown resident who invested in real estate, was the owner and or builder of five houses in the new American University Park and First Addition. He was equally active in Asbury Park, primarily as a realtor.

 

In 1893 James W. Robey moved from Merrifield, Virginia to Tenleytown where, he had learned from his friend Edward Parks, land was available and so was construction work.  With him came his seven sons and two daughters: Frederick, Albert, Virginia, James, William, Elmer, Effie, Alonzo, and Bernard.  The children ranged in age from two to twenty-one years.

 

 

The Robeys were prepared as father and sons were skilled in the building trades.  It is probable that the Robeys shared Croissant’s and Stone’s hopes and expectations that the creation of American University would generate a building boom in its environs.  James W. Robey, through Edward Parks, would no doubt have quickly become acquainted with Tenleytown residents working in real estate and construction - including Tom Giles.  And the Robeys became active in two of Tenleytown’s most important institutions: Eldbrooke Church and the Singleton Masonic Lodge.  In 1908 the Masons purchased land on Wisconsin Avenue and the Robeys built the new Masonic temple.  When the first meeting in the new building was held in 1909, the Most Worshipful Master was James Harvey Robey, seated in center of photo.  His brother, Elmer, is standing on the far right.