500 Hawthorne Drive - Herman House/Averett President's House

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This old house is located at 500 Hawthorne Drive, Danville, Virginia. The Global Positioning Coordinates (GPS) of the site are N 36 degrees 34.735', W 079 degrees 25.969'.

In the early 1950s when many of the houses on Hawthorne Drive had not been numbered and their address was simply Hawthorne Drive, Forest Hills, the house which would later become 500 Hawthorne Drive was occupied by Milton Herman and his wife Elise, who had lived there at least since the early 1940s. Milton was born in Danville on May 17, 1887 and was the middle of three sons of Louis Herman, a prominent Danville business man who was the founder and owner of L Herman, a leading department store, and was a strong factor in the development of the Forest Hills subdivision. His mother was Kate Heller Herman of German descent. Elise, Milton's wife, was born on June 30, 1895 in Statesville, North Carolina and was the daughter of William Wallace and Flora Whitlock. In various City Directories her given name was misspelled as Aelese and Elsie. The Hermans were of the Reformed Jewish faith and were active members of Temple Beth Sholem. Milton Herman served as President of Statesville Cotton Mills.

Milton Herman died on October 23, 1968 at age 81 and was buried in Green Hill Cemetery. After his death Elise continued to live in the house until the early 19980s when she moved to Roman Eagle Memorial Home. The house is reported in City Directories to have been vacant during 1982 and 1983. It was during this period that Mrs. A. B. Carrington, Jr. (Ruth) who was living in the neighborhood at 474 Hawthorne Drive, being concerned about who might purchase the Herman property, bought it and donated it to Averett College. Mrs. Elise Herman died in Roman Eagle Memorial Home on March 20, 1984 at age 73 and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Statesville, North Carolina. After extensive restoration the house was converted into a new President's Home for Averett. Dr. Howard William Lee and his wife, Margaret Davidson Lee, were the first president's family to live in the new President's Home in 1984. Since that time all Averett presidents and their families have lived there.