Local History, Up Close

One of the nice side-effects of blogging and having a personal web site is having people from your past show up on your virtual doorstep to catch up. A few weeks ago, I got a note from a visitor I hadn’t known, but whose grandparents lived in my house when she was a child in the 1950s. She was gracious enough to send along a few photos, and I hope she doesn’t mind if I share a few of the more generic ones here.

These photos are undated, and could be from any time from the late 1940s to the late 1950s.

The wisteria to the left of the porch here is still around; I’ve written about how I fear it wants to break in and strangle us all so I’ll stop pruning it.

Likewise the lilac tree to the right of the porch here is still around, and is a gloriously ancient and gnarly thing:

Here’s what the house is like now (winter’s not the most photogenic of times, I need to do a little painting and repair work this spring):

One of the interesting things I learned about the house early on was that the property used to incorporate the three lots adjacent to it on the west side. I’d wondered what was there, and my new friend explained that her grandparents had filled it with flower gardens, and ran a cut-flower business. Here is one of the photos she sent:

Even then the property taxes were onerous, so they had to sell off those lots, and more modern split-level type houses were built there. The back yard is a fragment of its former self, and even less since I built the deck:

It actually made the back yard a lot more livable, and I spend a great deal of time out there in the warmer months.

Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he's also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

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