Saturday, February 21, 2009

The way it was….

House_in_Spring I was going thru old photographs today, taking the proverbial trip down memory lane, and I came across pictures of our last home that I had uploaded to Tripod several years ago.

It was a wonderful house, built in 1929, in a historic part of Heavensville.  People called it the Gingerbread House, because of it’s whimsical look.  Hubby and I bought it from the elderly lady who owned it without even going inside. 

It wasn’t for sale, but her husband had passed away and I wrote her a letter and asked her if she would be interested in selling it to us.

She was a bit eccentric, she called and told us we could come over and see the outside, but we couldn’t go inside.  She priced it to us in the yard, and we bought it right then.  I had always loved the house, actually we lived just around the corner from it,  and this was our one chance to live there, as there had only been two previous owners.  So we gave her a down payment on the spot,  with hubby assuring me not to worry, that regardless of what it looked like inside, he would restore it.  LC  can do anything, he totally gutted every room in the house and restored it to it’s original look.  It was a mess inside, but luckily, it had never been “remodeled, “ all of the original rooms were intact.  There was never a front walk, and the only landscaping was the azaleas, so we built a flagstone sidewalk and did major renovations to the grounds as well.

We sold it a few years ago when we moved to the country.  Was I sad to see it go, naturally, but I was ready for a change.  It was not an easy house for me, too many stairs to climb,  and old houses are drafty.   And the chance for  a country girl to go back to the country to live doesn’t happen often,  I  much prefer where we live now.

The garage was an exactly replica of the house with unfinished maid quarters above, and if you look at the pictures, you will see a fish pond and a waterfall coming out of the front of the garage.  This was all original from when the house was was built, we didn’t change anything.  The pattern on the brick was called skintled brick, the brick layer laid the bricks in an uneven, irregular pattern, and also included greek symbols in various places in the pattern he designed.  If you look closely at one of the pictures of the front of the house, you will see an upside down  horseshoe pattern built into the brick.

It had the original leaded glass windows, thirty-three of them if I remember correctly, and therefore no storm windows, because it would have taken away from the look of the house, which I’m sure contributed to the uneven temperatures in the summer and winter months.  We lived there for eight years, and I enjoyed every minute of it, but things change, and it’s not the same anymore. 

The big oak tree you see in the right corner died, and the new owner cut down the tree you see framing the front of the house.  The house still had it’s original roof, which would have lasted many more years, but the current owner  decided to reroof it this year, and he painted the exterior a boring beige.  It just doesn’t have the charm that it did when we lived there, of course I realize that it was the way I liked it, obviously he doesn’t have the same taste.

The azaleas you see blooming in this picture are still intact, though, we no doubt will drive by when they are in bloom, as they are just stunning.

It really was a magical old house.  As I looked at the pictures this afternoon, I laughed at how overdecorated and girly it was.  Would I do the same thing today, probably, well maybe not so much silk greenery, but I’ve always told you I’m a clutterer and a nester, and boy was this cluttered!

I don’t have pictures of the upstairs or the basement uploaded.  Some day I need to go through more pictures and upload everything to  a current server and include those as well.  Hubby finished the basement, putting in a commercial kitchen and building a family room, too, the basement really had a lot of character. 

If you like old houses, I think you’ll enjoy looking at the pictures I took of the interior.  It really was a special house.  Here’s the click for the pix .

~ jan


  1. Jan, your house was simply it love it. You did an amazing job of the decorating..very special. Thank you for sharing the photos.
    xxox Debbie


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