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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The History Of A House

A couple of weeks ago I participated in my first ever "block party".  Our street was blocked off from 10:00 am until midnight and the fire department stopped by for the kids to play on their truck.  No, I did not climb on the fire truck.

Besides quadrupling the number of people I know in our community, the best thing about the block party was hearing the history of our house.

It turns out that our house was the first one built on our side of the street in 1954.  Prior to that, a railroad ran right down where our alley is now.  That explains why I always hit rocks when digging towards the back of our property. 

The people who live two doors down from me have lived here since their house was first built and they told us that the houses sold for 30,000 - 35,000 back in the day, which really pisses me off. 

2007_0604image0004 Remember last year when I posted about the big random concrete slab in my backyard (the torture deck) wondering what it was?  Well, I found out that the owners who lived here the longest were Ham radio operators and the dude actually had a big tower mounted on that slab. 

When I researched it on the Internet I found tons of pictures of the foundation that is built for these radios and they all looked just like ours with the 3 steel posts sticking up in a triangle shape. ham tower

Now I'm dying to find some pictures of our block when it was all railroad an no house, and I'd love to see our backyard with a big radio tower back there in the middle of my now garage garden.

image from


  1. That is really cool! Our house was built just a few years ago - so no cool history behind it. :(

  2. That must be very interesting!
    I know that our house is around 100 years old and built over the site of a cordial factory - which explains why we keep digging up small phials and glass jars in our veg patch!

  3. Heather's GardenAugust 26, 2008 at 6:40 PM

    That's so cool about the radio tower. Now we know it's not a slab covering radio-active waste or anything.

  4. This sounds like an episode of the History Detectives. I love this stuff. It makes the suburban yard so much more interesting.

  5. How fun! I wish that I knew more of the history of my house... at 90 years old (next year) it just isn't talking. And the neighbors here only remember the last 20 years or so. *sigh*

  6. Personally I'm relieved for you that there is no bad juju in your yard from that cement slab.

  7. stacy - just think, YOU are making the history of your house that somebody will hopefully learn about a long time from now.

    buddhist - thats very cool! i never get cool glass, just rocks.

    heather - i know, right? now every time I look back there where the slab is I try to visualize what the big radio tower looked like.

    MMD - the funny thing about our block is that the houses on the other side of our street are all old beatuiful bungalows and then our side is plain ranch ones. I keep wondering how you could sleep with the railroad that close.

    kim - my house was only built in the 50's so I'm sure if it were any older it'd be a lot prettier but I'd not likely find the history of it. I love big old houses!

    leslie - me too, sister!!