Sunday, September 4, 2011

Diary of an Expedition - Genealogy Style - Part Four

Emily and I were up early to get to the exciting tasks ahead.  Today we were going to try to find ancestral homes.  We had three addresses.  Mary moved a number of times, most likely as her financial situation changed, her need for space changed, or perhaps her desire to locate in a better school district entered into her decisions.   There are new census records available at .   The census records of 1930 enabled me to locate the very home my father/Emily's grandfather, lived in as the address of the person being interviewed is written on the border of the left side of the census form.  Mary is listed as living at 16747 Shaftsbury St. with her two young sons; William and Robert, her mother Elizabeth, and her youngest brother, Walter.

What a nice neighborhood!  We were truly surprised to find the tree lined street and well built homes.
Amazingly enough, 16747 was being renovated!  The contractor in charge was on site and invited us to tour the empty home.  We were able to walk around the interior and imagine what life may have been like in this mid-sized home.  There was even a tree in the backyard that the boys may have helped to plant in the early '30's.  This was most likely the last home Mary ever lived in as she died in 1934. 
The living area was astounding in that it resembled the home my brother and I grew up in so much!
The fireplace, flanked by bookcases, even had a large mirror centered over it.  Just like the one we remember on Wickham Road in Garden City. 

There was a "breezeway"...a tiny area that prevented the warmth from flying out of the house when the front door was opened.....There were three small bedrooms upstairs.  The boys most likely shared their room, Walter stayed in one and Mary and her mother in another.  There was one bathroom that they all shared.   Outside by the side entrance was a small door that led to a tiny compartment that led to another door that could be opened from the inside by the occupants of the home.  This had to be the "ice box" or the compartment into which the delivery person would place the block of ice used to cool their refrigerator or "ice box".  When electricity became available, it would be the "milk man" who utilized this compartment, placing the ordered glass bottles of milk or cream inside.  It would be a long time before wax milk cartons and even I remember having a "milk man" deliver milk to us in Garden City in the early 1950's.  Empty milk bottles were always left for the milk man to pick up and re-use.  Bottle tops were made of heavy paper that would be peeled off.
We didn't know about re-cycling then, but we were doing it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! You are indeed lucky to be able to view the inside while it was empty. A blank canvas to let your imagination take over.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)