Built in 1816 by War of 1812 veteran Constantine Perkins the building at 125 3rd Avenue North is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Locals have different names for the property. Some call it’The Eaton House’ despite it not being known for sure if former United States Senator and President Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of War, Senator John Eaton lived there. Eaton’s mother, T.K. Handy at one point owned the property.
The building also goes by Cochrane Flats and got it’s name from Dr. Hardin Perkins Cochrane, who lived next door at Cherry Manor bought the home in 1913 and rented it out until his death in 1935. After Dr. Cochrane passed away the home was donated to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. It changed hands several times and is now an office building.
The house is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Peggy Eaton, the wife of Senator John Eaton. Peggy was a controversial figure in the 19th century, having been a widow for only eight months before marrying a member of Andrew Jackson’s cabinet. Back then women were expected to grieve for at least a year before dating again. The quick marriage led many in Washington DC to believe that Senator Eaton and Peggy had an affair and despite having his death classified as death at sea serving in the Navy, the word around the Capitol was that her husband found out Peggy was having an affair and committed suicide.
Even though it hasn’t been confirmed that Peggy every lived in the building locals have sworn to see her ghost on the second floor of the building. Former employees and past tenants of the building tell stories of hearing footsteps and other mysterious noises on the second floor but when they go check upstairs no one is there. Lights have been known to turn themselves on at night for no reason.
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