After All The Things We’ve Done and Seen …

I mentioned in my last post that when we bought this house, we inherited some photos of how it has looked over the years. Opening that folder on our first day here, and seeing that all those people wanted to memorialize their time here, reinforced for me my initial feeling on seeing it for the first time – that this is a happy house.

You know how some houses are like that? You can’t put your finger on why, other to say that they have been loved and that, within their walls, love has flourished. When we first saw this house it was a little the worse for wear and even though we have done a lot, we are leaving it with more to do. So it’s not a grand house, and not a picture perfect house. It’s just a house that I love as I know all the previous owners did. If they didn’t love it, they wouldn’t have kept that folder going over all these years.

So here are a couple of the photos followed by the one we will add. I’m not entirely sure of these dates so I’d love to know what you think:

Is this one the 1940s do you think? Or maybe the 50s?

Things really went down hill a few decades later:

Let’s take a moment to mourn for the beautiful hardwood floors they’ve covered up with that carpet, and the lovely wall of windows that has been adorned by that monstrosity of zig-zagged fabric.

It looked even worse when it was pulled across the window:

And let’s not even talk about the fireplace debacle. Well, OK then. They removed whatever lovely fireplace was designed with the house and replaced it with this brick monstrosity that we still live with today. But even worse than that, they covered the entire wall around it with cheap cladding.

Consider for a moment that what is behind that cladding is a built in bookcase on either side of the fireplace with a small window above each book case (you can see it in the first picture). HOW COULD THEY DO THAT????

Thankfully the cladding was gone long before we arrived, and the windows are restored, but that fireplace remains. I don’t think any of the subsequent owners have had the strength of will to smash it with a sledgehammer. I have hope for the people who follow us though. C’mon people – you can do it!

We’re adding our own photo, taken from nearly the same spot as the first one.

Weird to think someone might be blogging about the appalling fashions of 2011 years after we’re gone!

So when do you think those first two photos were taken?

UPDATE: Duh! I just realized that the date is right on the second set of photos! I didn’t see that until I scanned them and enlarged them to post here. So those photos were taken in 1956. That was 13 years after Alice E. Paulson died. Mercifully, she never knew about the cladding.

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7 thoughts on “After All The Things We’ve Done and Seen …

  1. I love seeing the comparisons! It’s gone full circle .. the first picture is warm and inviting as is yours. Makes you want to curl up with a good book and a glass or five of wine or visit with good friends. Such a cozy environment. Nothing to say about the other three but wow..

    • Do you think that was the height of fashion at the time? Those people took tons of pictures and stuck them onto paper with notes about their ‘improvements.’ They seemed very proud of it all.

  2. Even though I was only a little girl at the time, I absolutely hated that look! I only knew one person who did their home that way. As I recall it never really went over big…it was very uncomfortable.

    • It looks it. Especially that little round-shaped chair in the corner. Imagine trying to curl up in that with a good book – it would probably tip over!

  3. You should probably have kept hold of that 1950’s furniture and kept it in storage, it’s worth a fortune now here in England as the young ones are now going for “retro” as it is now called. You won’t believe some of the stuff in the shops, it’s like going back to your childhood!!

    • Hi Barb – nice to hear from you! Good thought, but it was gone long before we arrived. I wonder what happened to it all.

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