Monday, June 28, 2010

Blast From The Past

I’ve been meaning to post this picture for the longest time. The great granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Petch sent it to me last winter while I was deeply rooted in my non-blogging phase. I had also grown a goatee, smoked a pipe, wore a beret and read a lot of poetry during this phase, but that is another story.

Anyway, by the time I wanted to post it I couldn’t find it. I had a hard copy that I printed out, but the image file was lost on one of my hard drives and I could not find it until yesterday.

Click to enlarge


One can assume that the Petch family still lived here, otherwise why would an ancestor have the photo. It is definitely pre-1920s because that is when the house was cut up in to apartments and the 2-story addition is not there in this photo. It is also definitely pre-1926 because that is when the carriage house and other out-buildings were torn down to make way for the 2-story garage/apartment building.

I think it may even be before 1915 when Mrs. Petch started running a boarding house. That is when I think the second to last window towards the back was converted to a door to give access to a deck and bathroom addition.

The house to the right in the photo is still there, and looks pretty much as it does in the photo, but there is now a 1920s stucco bungalow on the corner between the 2 houses. I could probably narrow the date down further if I found out when the bungalow was built. The house on the left, behind the carriage house, is still there, but has been heavily butchered. If I could see it in this photo, I'm sure the current structure would not resemble it in the least.

Things of note:

1) The cresting is not the high Victorian metal work, but the more plain wooden (?) variety.

2) The chimney is not high Victorian either.

3) The gable decorations are not the fan, or sunburst type like I always suspected. It is more of an open fret work or lattice design.

4) The back window on the far left I assumed was a door in the pre-apartment days.

5) Also, that back wall has already been pushed out a foot. I assumed that was an apartment era modification.

6) The fire hydrant and electric pole on the corner and still there in the same place.

7) There doesn’t seem to be much of a fence. There is something there, but I’m not sure what it is.

8) The house has the brown and tan paint job. I know the house was white when built and I assumed this color scheme came along after the apartment conversion.

9) The window is open in the dining room and it looks like there are two different types of roller shades. The roller shades I installed look a lot like the type on the right side of the bay. No roller shades upstairs.

10) The book Eureka: An Architectural Review claims the large window on the front bay is a later addition. Well, In Your Face, Eureka: An Architectural Review! The window has been there from the beginning!

A short while after I received this photo I got another email saying that another photo had surfaced and she was going to send me a copy once it was scanned. I would kill for that other photo because some questions still remain. I would really like to know what the railing looked like on the front porch and the wrap around porch on the other side of the house.

Except for the cresting and gable decorations I have gotten this house back to looking pretty much as it did the day it was built. Well, the outside anyway. There is still a ways to go on the inside.

Hmmm, any interior photos lurking around, great granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Petch?

6 comments:

Kathy from NJ said...

I think there is a solar dryer in the picture - have you replaced that yet?

Greg said...

Are those the bloomers of Mrs. Petch out there?

Karen Anne said...

I'm a little confused about the timeline, but I wouldn't assume home ownership just because someone has a photo. I have photos of family houses after they were sold and older ones I've dug up before family ownership.

Karen Anne said...

p.s. Isn't it great when old photos appear out of nowhere more or less? I had a third cousin stumble across a genealogy post I did a few years ago and he sent me photos of the great grandparents and some of their sibs I had given up on ever finding. Dancing in the living room took place.

Kathy from NJ said...

They do look like bloomers, don't they? When I was growing up our next-door-neighbor never hung her underwear outside (no one owned a dryer in those days). My sister got it into her head that Mrs. Commando probably didn't wear any!

One day I would love to see a current pic of the house next to this old one.

Jamie said...

Love this post. Thanks so much for sharing.