History of

R.L. Kane Inc.

R. L .Kane, Incorporated, Realtors, one of Northern Virginia’s oldest real estate firms and the oldest appraisal firms is located at 311 South Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, will celebrate its 78th birthday August 31.


The firm was established by Robert L. Kane, who had been in the real estate business in Alexandria since 1919. Mr. Kane, better known to his friends as “Louie” began his real estate activity with the firm of Fred C. Goodnow and after working as a salesman and later as sales manager teamed with Mr. Nelson Snyder forming the corporation known as Snyder and Kane and later incorporated as Snyder-Kane Boothe, which was the area’s largest builder and developer. In August 1935 Mr. Kane with his sister, Helen Humphrey began the firm of R. L. Kane, Inc. which for many years operated on the corner of King and Washington Streets over the old Whelan Drug Store. In 1952 the firm purchased their present home at 311 South Washington Street.


Mr. Kane was active in many church, civic and professional organizations including the American Society of Appraisers, the National Association of Real Estate Boards the Northern Virginia Board of Realtors, of which he had been President on three occasions and for one term was president of the Virginia Real Estate Association.


During his time as president of R. L. Kane, Inc. Mr. Kane devoted the majority of his time to real estate appraising including all the land acquired for the Pentagon Building and access road, the George Washington Memorial Parkway from Mt. Vernon to the CIA site, the proposed Burke Airport site and Dulles Airport and access roads. The lands acquired for the Occoquan Dam by the Alexandria Water Company as well as being employed by numerous banks, Lending institutions and individuals. His expert court testimony was highly regarded throughout the area by his constituents.


Mrs. Humphrey, Secretary of the firm ably assisted her brother in the successful operation of the company throughout her 35 years. After 15 years with the Southern Railway Mrs. Tolbert began her real estate career in the lean depression years and her keen desire for helping people with their real estate needs brought her much success and satisfaction in the field.


Jack Wheatley joined the firm in 1952 and was actively interested in the field of property management and sales and later became Treasurer.  In 1956 Scott  Humphrey joined the firm full time and began specializing in appraisals of all types. As was Mr. Kane, Mr. Humphrey became an expert in court testimony and was highly regarded throughout the area as a real estate appraiser. Mr. Humphrey purchased the firm from Mr. Robert L. Kane.in 1971 and became president in 1975 at Mr. Kane’s death.


In 1979 Leon A. (Lee) Duncan joined the company and has been providing real estate appraisal services throughout Northern Virginia region.


​​After seventy-five years in the active real estate market, R. L. Kane, Inc. is still serving the Northern Virginia Community.