Monday, April 23, 2012

History in the Junk Drawer

Sometimes, to say I overlook things is an understatement.

When I first moved into the house, I was presented with a jumble of keys, only half of which unlocked anything, a couple of garage door openers, and a drawer organizer full of stuff. The stuff included things like the business cards of all the real estate agents that showed the house (Over 50. Apparently my house was a wallflower in the dance of home sales), and the owner's manual to a rust-bucket refrigerator I'd already ordered a replacement for.

I KNEW there was a packet of photos in this box, and though the age of the envelope ALONE should have told me to look (it was from the age of film, for pete's sake) I just assumed they were the pictures used in the real estate promotions. Besides, the first thing that happened when I moved in, the plumbing got all up in my business, and I had other things on my mind.

The envelope turned out to be a gold mine.

Today, I'll share with you a series of photos of my house dated New Year's Day, 1942.

My house was brand new! What impresses me about this photo (besides the fact that is hella snow on the ground, even for my state) is how lovely the house looks with shutters on. Much cozier and finished. I found them in the garage attic last summer, and now I'm even more inspired to get these refurbished and back in their rightful place.

The house had a brick patio and front walk (instead of the current deck with a side entry down to the driveway) and the storm windows were four paned, over the 8-over-8 sashes on the regular window.  I also notice the house had a front door slot instead of the current mailbox on the exterior of the house. Very cool!

The south, or driveway side. What this photo is telling me (besides, DANG, that was some snow!) is that my current garage isn't the original one. That is what I suspected all along, since my garage is a two and half car garage, and the one in the photo is clearly a single car garage. 

This is the back of the house, which looks nothing like today. The house now has a screen porch off the back, and the door/window combo on the left has been changed to a sliding double patio door. The kitchen window on the right is over the sink, and that's also been replaced with a newer window. 

These things are probably not as exciting to the blog reader as they are to me. But this is just like finding photos you didn't even know existed of an elderly relative that isn't one to talk. So much information in these.

I've saved the best for last: 

Meet Richard and Charlie. I'm already in love with the little stinkers, because they appear to be wearing indian costumes and feather headdresses. The picture is labeled with their names and "1945 or 1946." 

Since we found cowboy wallpaper in the room that is now mine, I wonder if this was what these little boys saw as they drifted off to sleep under the eaves of this little house so many years ago: 

These little boys, if they are still living, are pushing 80 years old. To think I found all these things to wonder about, in the bottom of my junk drawer.


  1. Gah! Those are SO cool! Most of us would give our eye-teeth to see our houses in those early, early stages. Wow! And that photo of the little boys? Aces. I'm so happy for you. Your house is so pretty. And wow, that WAS some snow!

    1. I'm still squee-ing! There are more, and I'm going to share them out over several blog posts in the coming months. As the mom of little boys, I just went all mushy at that last photo. How could I not? I wonder where they are now...

    2. You should look them up online. Sometimes, it's really easy to find people. One of my other blogger friends found the people that used to live in her house in the fifties and had them over. They told her lots of stories and shared photos with her. Now she has them over for a Christmas dinner every year!

    3. They must be the children of the first people to own the house, or at least one of the first two owners. I'm going to see if I can find a last name. Don't worry, I'll share my research once I get it tracked down!Such a neat story from your other blogger friend, too. It gives me tingles to think I could meet somebody from these photos!

  2. Wow, how cool! I love old photos anyway, but to find old photos of your home ~ what a treasure!

  3. Those pictures are COMPLETELY amazing!!! How lucky you are that they are still around. I would LOVE to see pics of my Mom's 50s condo from when it was first built, there are all sorts of questions I have in my head about the place. And those little Indians, SO adorable! Can't wait to see more pics!