The deed of our house says it was built in 1890, but a couple of weeks ago there was a photo in the local newspaper of a brewing company that used to be located nearby. To my surprise, our house was in the photo, though it looked a little different than it does today. The side porch and kitchen wasn't there, the upper deck and kitchen was missing and there were few other houses in the neighborhood. There was a pop factory down the street about four houses. And a funeral home a couple of blocks to the north. But how could our house be in the photo if it was built in 1890? The photo in the newspaper was dated 1856.
I did a little research and found that though the house is in the picture, it was never recorded at the land office until the 1890 date. Seems rather odd, but of course the city was young at that time. It was founded in 1839.
The house has changed a lot in the 15 years we've had it. The cement front porch has been replaced (at the insistance of the fire insurance company) with the wooden one in the photo. The side porch had wrought iron railings when we moved here. When we replaced the front porch, we had the rusty wrought iron taken off and a new wooden railing put on. We also changed the back stairs for the upper floor because they went down onto the side lawn.
This house is old and there's no doubt about that. When we changed the ceilings a few years back we found chimney holes for an old woodstove in the living room and soot that had drifted into the rafters. It seems the place where my computer is today was a parlor and there is a trapdoor in the floor that went into the basement. It has now been covered with laminate honey-colored flooring.
Have you ever stripped wallpaper off of an old house? When we moved here the living room was papered with a floral paper that was circa 1960. It had been put on with wallpaper paste and it was tough to get off. We still paper it because the walls are so uneven they'd look horrible painted. One day we hope to take the horse hair plaster off and replace it with something a little more modern. First though, we have to do some work on the bathroom and kitchen.
The house is an ongoing project that will take years to renovate into the place we want it to be. However, it was purchased at a time when housing was less expensive than it was today and it suits us nicely. It most certainly has character. We've thought of selling it but it seems like too much effort to move at our age. This has been home for 15 years and it will continue to be home for many years to come.
Note: The house sits on a hill. The photo on the bottom shows the front of the house. My husband and I bought the new front door in lieu of Christmas and birthday presents last year. It is a mountain scene with a lake with mallard ducks in the forefront.
The photo on the top is looking up the hill at the side of the house. The lawn is greener than it's been all summer, but the summer drought took it's toll on the grass. I'm hoping it comes back next year, but if not, we will have to seed.
I hope you enjoyed seeing where I live. Later I will post some photos of what I see from my front door.
Look at the tree in front of the house. This photo was taken earlier today. It's Oct. 21st and all the green leaves are still on that tree. We broke a record today at 26 degrees C from 1979. Last year on the same day it was 11 degrees C. Though we are saving on natural gas, I am concerned about the environment. I think global warming is moving faster than we thought.