Do you Celebrate your House’s Birthday?

1411 cakeLast Sunday night we gathered to toast a birthday.  We weren’t celebrating one of us or even someone else but the house we have called “Home” for nearly thirty-five years was turning ninety years old.

How did I know this factoid?  Here is the story:

“Why do we have a little door for on our back porch?” was a common question during the “why” stages of parenting.    The 22 X 28 door has always been a source of fascination and the answer even more so.  “A long time ago the people who lived here didn’t have refrigerators so that’s where the ice block was delivered to keep the food cold.”

As the children grew older the questions kept coming.  “What is that skinny door behind the fridge for?”  Show and tell on the spot revealed a pull-down ironing board that was probably built-in to house.  Of course the next question was obvious, “How old is our house?”  Just like the children, I really didn’t know.

By the frequency with which we blew electrical fuses, we knew it went up well before the advent of air conditioners, computers, dishwashers and other big electricity drainers.  How much earlier? How much did it originally cost?  What was the neighborhood like before the houses?  And then, perhaps the most interesting question, who else has lived here?

Our home had a story to tell and we wanted to hear it.

To find the answers, my daughter and I made our first visit to our local historical museum years back and simply told the attendant that we were seeking the story of our home and she led the way.  Within minutes, a bulging file with our address was on the table in front of us.

“Look at how small the tree is!”  “Wow, the windows are so different”, “Where is the garage?”  Pouring over real estate snapshots from years past was so exciting.  We never thought about our house ever looking different from how it does now.

Out of the file we pulled the building permit dated, January 9, 1924.  We decided to make a copy of that to frame for our front hallway.  At the bottom of the permit we gasped at the cost, $11,000.

Information about previous owners and their noteworthy achievements were also included.  Most fascinating for our baseball-loving family featured the story of the son a previous owner who played for the New York Yankees.

For the celebration, I put together a little scrapbook with the photos and clippings and showed it around while we ate birthday cake. Lots of stories to tell but we will save some of them until April when we celebrate 35 years of living here.

Happy Birthday 1411, may you have many more!

Hope for the Best,


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2 Responses to “Do you Celebrate your House’s Birthday?”

  1. 1 judy January 30, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    I love how you find something to celebrate! Now I am curious about my home 🙂

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