King George News

Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at

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Not a lot of new info with Cleydael sale

I’m continuing to get calls about the upcoming auction of Cleydael, the historic home where John Wilkes Booth sought refuge in 1865 after assassinating President Lincoln.

But there’s nothing new to report, really. The lawyers handling the estate are working to keep the sale date Oct. 7, at the Cleydael house, off State Route 206 near Dahlgren.

Meanwhile, the law firm representing the foreclosure company is still advertising in our paper, saying the property will be auctioned at 9 a.m. Oct. 4 on the King George County courthouse steps.

In the meantime, several scholars of the Lincoln assassination are following the story with interest. They point out that Shapiro & Burson, the law firm handling the foreclosure, has been investigated by Maryland prosecutors for improperly handling deeds in foreclosures in that state. Here’s a link to the story from  The Baltimore Sun.

And, yes, there is one more piece of news in the Cleydael saga: the historical marker that once told the story of the home’s significance is gone. Apparently, it was reported stolen in April.

I’ll keep checking with the lawyers handling the estate because the lawyers handling the foreclosure sale don’t return phone calls. I’ll post any updates between now and then, and I’ll also plan to be at the steps of the courthouse Tuesday morning, just to see what happens.