Friday, March 23, 2012

A historical perspective

Did you know that our house was built in the 1890s?  Justin's best guess, based on fairly extensive research of census records, old maps, etc, is 1893.  He's spent a lot of time trying to learn about the history of the house, learn about the families who lived here, learn about what these walls have seen over the span of 119 years.

The earliest picture we have, from 1952.

When you stop and think, it's amazing all the time that this house has stood.  There was a family living here when Justin and I were born.  A different family when our parents were born.  A family was here through each of the world wars.  Someone weathered the Great Depression in this house.  The first woman to live here couldn't vote.  We suspect, based on the extra-large footprint of the bathrooms, that the initial inhabitants had an outhouse and that bedrooms were later converted to bathrooms when indoor plumbing became more common for residential use.

And each of those families had stories.  They worked, they played, they ate and slept here.  They laughed, cried, loved, and mourned.  I love to imagine the variety of clothing that was worn over the years as people came and went from the home.  And I love to close my eyes and try to imagine how it might have looked with 1950s furnishings.  Or earlier, at the turn of the century.  Like the scenes from Titanic when videos of the old, ruined ship are suddenly replaced by the vibrant images of the glory days, I would love to magically see back through time.  How were the rooms used?  How was it decorated?  What types of furniture were here?

We've learned some from the previous owners, who had the house for more than 30 years.  We found a few yearbook pictures of kids that grew up here in the 1930s.  And Justin has been able to piece together some facts about the historical residents through  Many pieces will continually be a mystery and left to our imagination.  Today, however,  we were excited to receive a message from a woman Justin contacted through ancestry - she's the daughter of someone who grew up here, and she reports that she has many fond memories and even lived here herself at one point.  I hope she's willing to share some stories with us - I know that this old home has plenty to share!

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Our house was built in 1927, and I've often had the same thoughts. Landscaping also reveals buried surprises, too, and more questions about how the yard was used before and after the house was built.