425 Sherman Street, SE

Circa 1920

The original residents of this house were the Papenburg family, Henry and Mary, with their 8 children. A native of Germany, Henry Papenburg was a merchant who had moved to Decatur in 1890. The family worshiped at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 801 Jackson Street SE. Mr. Papenburg passed in 1935, and Mary took in boarders, which was common at the time. In 1938, Curtis and Christine Campbell and L. L. and Mary Speed lived at this residence, as well. The Papenburg heirs sold the home to George and Maureen Breeding in 1953. The Breeding’s called 425 Sherman Street home for almost 30 years. Upon Breeding’s passing in 1969, the home was deeded to his wife and children along with a “Herd of Cattle consisting of 1 bull, 31 cows, and 26 calves plus a 1969 Pontiac automobile.”

This house is an excellent example of the American Four-Square style, which is one of the few indigenous American styles. Four-Square houses, as the name implies, have four rooms on the main floor. Typically, one of the four quadrants is dedicated to the staircase, but sometimes there is a center hall (which this house has). The resulting plan is quite flexible and provides nice flow between the dining room, living, and service spaces.

The home sat vacant for a number of years until Judge David and Drama Breland purchased the property in May 1981. The Breland’s invested in extensive renovations and brought the home back to its original condition with modern updates. In 2008, Dodie and D. Hall stumbled upon the home for sale on Craigslist while searching for a place to retire. Dodie knew before they looked inside that this home would be their next residence. She loves the garden, high ceilings, and spacious rooms. D’s favorite space is the front porch. The Halls fell in love with Decatur, adore living in Albany, and feel very blessed to be the current caretakers of 425 Sherman Street.