House History

Reader Mike recently emailed me; I found your great house blog the other day!  I’m also working on renovating a S. Minneapolis bungalow and I’ve been trying to find out the history of the house.  What resources did you use to find out your house’s history? Well, Mike, although I hardly consider my own house […]


Got Plate, Need Car

by Josh on November 2, 2007 · 2 comments

in antiques,House History,Local

Our house was built in 1923 with an attached garage for a car. Now I’ve got a 1923 Minnesota license plate that could have been attached to that car.


Halloween In A Bungalow

by Josh on October 31, 2007 · 2 comments

in antiques,House History,Ideas

A couple nights ago I attended (the last 30 minutes of) a Twin Cities Bungalow Club event called, “Halloween in a Bungalow” with presenter, Janelle Henry. The talk covered the history of Halloween celebrations in the United States, with a particular focus on Bungalow era.


Cracker Jack Coin

by Josh on August 30, 2007 · 5 comments

in House History

We found money buried in our backyard! It’s the secret dream of every owner of an old house to find a pile of money under the birdbath or behind a wall, but it really happened to us. Unfortunately we only found one coin. And it’s only play money. But it’s still buried treasure to me. […]


Picking Wallpaper

by Josh on February 23, 2007 · 6 comments

in House History

Chewing your fingernails. Picking a scab. Why does anyone do these things? They don’t make you look any better, in fact you usually look worse than if you had just left everything alone. I’ve recently discovered the house equivalent of fingernail chewing: picking old, peeling, painted wallpaper off the walls. It absolutely looks terrible, but […]


Fun With Cartography

by Josh on October 27, 2006 · 4 comments

in House History

I found a map of Minneapolis from a 1923 edition of the Gazeteer of Cities and Towns of the World on eBay recently, and I thought it would be interesting to see what our city and neighborhood looked like back when the house was new. To my disappointment, it looks like the map information was […]


Ms. J Writes Again

by Josh on February 24, 2006 · 1 comment

in House History,Journal

For weeks I was consumed with guilt for not writing back to Ms. J (daughter of the original owner of this house) after she so generously mailed me a lovely letter and photos from when her family built and lived in this house. So about ten days ago I finally got over my procrastination and […]

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Streetcar Tokens

by Josh on February 15, 2006 · 7 comments

in House History,Journal

At a time when Minneapolis’ suburban fringe consists of cul-de-sacs connected by miles and miles of highways, it’s hard to imagine that 80 years ago our house a few dozen blocks from downtown represented the edge of suburban development. Today’s large lots in far-flung suburbs would be unthinkable without two or more cars per family, […]


Old Drawer Liner

by Josh on January 20, 2006 · 4 comments

in Basement,House History,Journal

While dismantling the storage drawers and shelves in the basement workshop, I found some interesting old paper lining a couple of the drawers. The papers date from the house’s “parsonage era” from 1952 to 1973 when it was owned by the last Norwegian-language Lutheran church in the city and occupied by Norwegian pastors. It was […]


1925 Golf Course Plan

by Josh on December 18, 2005 · 0 comments

in House History,Journal

I was cruising through Uptown the other day and noticed a couple antique shops I’d never visited. I had a couple minutes to spare, so I decided to check out their wares. Whenever I visit a local antique dealer, I look for a cool old map of our neighborhood from around the time the house […]