Living History

dian57February 5, 2011

We bought a 1947 cape cod foreclosure last spring that had structural problems because of the PO's enthusiastic use of a backhoe against the foundation. It took 3 months to get it to move in condition so now the minor work is being done as time and money permits.

I was incredibly lucky to have the next door neighbor come by and give me some verbal history on the house and original owner. She also gave me his current address. I wrote him and heard nothing for many months. Nothing lost, nothing gained I thought.

Then I got a long email from his youngest son. We began corresponding. He cc'd his siblings and cousin. They started sending me old photos and memories of their childhood and the different phases of renovation the house and property has gone through. I am in historical heaven!

The original owner just turned 94 and the children will be visiting him in April. I've promised to send them updated photos of the house and property. I feel so connected and blessed by this relationship to the past, I just had to share with you.

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structural problems because of the PO's enthusiastic use of a backhoe against the foundation

I'll assume this wasn't the original owner!

Once, working on an old home, a woman stopped by to say she had grown up there and that she had remembered her father doing a lot of work on the electrical system. So that would explain the switches wired with lampcord dug into channels in the plaster and across the sharp edges of the switch boxes. How lucky she was to have had such a "handy" Dad! (I bit my tongue.)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 3:12PM
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dian57

Oh, no! The original owner designed and built the house in 1947. The children sold it in 2004. The second owner kept it only a short time before selling it to the person with the backhoe. Mr. Backhoe had the house less than 5 years. It sat empty and unappreciated for 6 months before we bid on it.

Well, empty except for the field mice and squirrels who now had free passage into the basement.

After hearing your story, I'm relieved Mr. Backhoe didn't try his hand at wiring!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 4:12PM
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sunnyca_gw

Glad you connected to original owners! I wanted to go by & see house dad built in Pacomia during 2nd world war. I was 4& we lived in 19 ft trailer house while he built it, he did put up a swing set for me so I didn't care. Dad & I headed over there few years ago & knocked on the door, we told them who we were & dad told them he got the house out of Sears catalog(not a Craftsman tho) It pretty much came with everything a basic house had but not nearly enough storage & so dad showed him what he had added using war wood- Lockheed had wood they threw in a pile & told employees to help themselves, a few other houses were made out of it, dad just used it to add storage wall. The people were so nice & thrilled to meet the builder. Dad even asked them if they had any problems with the house. They had replaced the roof a couple of times but loved the house. The really nice thing was they had taken such good care of it & had a beautiful large front yard with lots of flowers.I think this means as much to them as to you. Funny my dad is 94 too. Soon to be 95. Enjoy your new home & it looks like you are fixing it up for both families to enjoy!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 1:28AM
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