We recently began the process of researching the history behind Judge Realty’s home, and with each new discovery the cosmos came together with resounding clarity: 347 Abercorn Street was built and bolstered by women. The original home, 124 East Jones Street, built for Mary A. Grimball in 1850, grew decade after decade down Abercorn Street into what it is today.
After a fire in June of 1852, destroying most of the eastern portion of Jones Lane between Drayton and Abercorn, Grimball sold the property (after purchasing the lots now known as 340-347 Abercorn) to William F. Chaplin in 1855. Chaplin later signed the whole of the property over to his daughter. Ida, a pivotal character in the history and pride of 347 Abercorn Street, left the property as is until after The Reconstruction ended, then in 1879 she rapidly began to improve and invest in the property and land, building the original structures that would later be the foundation for the current 347 Abercorn.Maps: Georgia Historical Society
In 1904, 347 Abercorn Street had its first tenants: sister dressmakers, Miss J. and May Speir. From 1911 to 1916 the property was held as a private residence to several individuals, all women, until J. J. O’ Brien purchased the building in 1917. For the next 13 years, the widowed Mrs. R. J. O’ Brien would defy gender roles and rent the building out to various tenants, all male, including The Abercorn Pressing Club, Futrell & Byrd Co., and Freese Grocery.
In 1950, 340-343 Abercorn were converted into apartments and Mrs. Josephine Walker opened a beauty shop in 347. In 1962 Printcraft Press moved in and held ownership until March of 1980, after being passed around from trustee to trustee, Lori Judge and Lou Thomann purchased the property in 2006 when it then became home to Judge Realty. Lori Judge, founder and broker-in- charge of Judge Realty is proud to continue the legacy of strong, forward thinking business women at the helm of 347 Abercorn Street.