Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Rich History: Loving Our Old House

We moved here in 1976. The longer we are here and the more I learn about this house, the more I fall in love with it. 
   Several years ago, we put it up for sale as we looked for a home to fit with our dreams of a Bed and Breakfast. I think, we were both somewhat relieved when it didn’t sell.
   Looking toward the ceiling of the basement, we can see that hardwood floors were used throughout the first floor. The main floor flooring was completely covered when we moved here by carpeting or linoleum, but the living room and downstairs bedrooms were uncovered at one time because they were stained and varnished. The upstairs bedrooms were uncovered hardwood when we moved here. The kids had apparently been experimenting with cigarettes because there are round burn marks in the wood. I'm sure the upstairs hallway is also hardwood but we haven't removed the carpeting from the stairs and hall, although I would like to do that some day.
   The man who built the house around 1945 is living across the street. He was a firefighter and built a few homes in this neighborhood on his days off. He lived in four of them over the years. If I remember the sequence correctly, this house was built first and the family lived in it for a few years while he built the one next door. They lived in that one briefly, while he built one on a street behind ours. Apparently, the fourth house he built to live in, was the charm because he has been living there since the 60s.
   He planted roses along our driveway that still thrive today. When he retired, he volunteered as a gardener for the Galloway House, a local historical residence and attraction.
   A few years ago, I met his daughter while she was visiting with my next-door neighbor and I invited her to relive her childhood memories of the house. Her two brothers shared the upstairs bedroom that is now our second bath. She and her sister shared the bedroom, currently used as our master bedroom. The outside door in the "boys' bedroom" leads to a flat roof covering the downstairs sun-room. She told me the boys were jumping off the roof one day when their mother, who was working in the kitchen, saw them. She was understandably upset and put an immediate halt to their fun. She also told me about a storage area that runs along the back of the "girls' bedroom." We didn't realize it was there because it is closed off. If we opened it up, it would make the bedroom about three feet larger.
   When we replaced the windows in the basement, we decided to keep the one glass block window because not only do I like glass block but also because one of the boys had been playing with a BB gun and there is a BB hole in one of the blocks. Fortunately, it doesn't go all of the way through. The recreation room, once used for square dancing, has a wood burning red brick fireplace.
   The smallest downstairs bedroom, originally the nursery, became a guest bedroom. The largest downstairs bedroom, designed as the master bedroom, has two closets.
   The original knotty pine paneling still graces the walls of the dining area, sunroom, and stairwells.
   Although we have done considerable interior remodeling, we have kept the original touches of those things we love most. We believe the tangible proof of the previous residents’ lives lends to the home’s charm and colorful history.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds wonderful Mary! Would love to come see u someday!! :)

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  2. I love that you keep the feel and even some of the things of the previous residents in your home in order to preserve its living history. I guess it was a blessing in disguise your home did not sell when you put it on the market.

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    Replies
    1. I believe God was looking out for us, Ruth. We are in no condition to handle the responsibilities of a bed and breakfast anymore. We would have been forced to sell and we would not be enjoying what we have already been blessed with.

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