House History

Cobbles and Rails

by Josh on March 18, 2011 · 9 comments

in Journal

Before April showers and May flowers come March potholes. But in my neighborhood, potholes aren’t just a seasonal inconvenience, they’re also a history lesson. Just take a look at what lies beneath the veneer of modernity that is two inches of asphalt: That is a streetcar rail set in amid granite street pavers at an […]


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 […]


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 […]


Bungalow 23: Then and Now

by Josh on November 24, 2005 · 1 comment

in House History,Journal

As I wrote a couple days ago, Ms. J, daughter of the original owners of Bungalow ‘23, sent me some pictures of the house from the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. I’m including some photos taken yesterday to show some of the physical changes to the house over the past 70 years. Changes I’ve spotted […]

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Mail from Ms. J

by Josh on November 22, 2005 · 2 comments

in House History,Journal

A full blog entry will have to wait until I’m done working, but I can’t contain my excitement until then. Ms. J, second daughter of the original owner of Bungalow ‘23, has sent me a letter and a dozen photos from her baby book that include views of the house. The pictures are amazing! I […]


Conversation with Ms. J

by Josh on November 21, 2005 · 1 comment

in House History,Journal

From my recent trips to the library to research the house history I have the obituary for the original owner of Bungalow ‘23. The obituary was helpful to add some details to the biography of this person about which I knew very little, but it didn’t tell me anything about the house or how the […]

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Scouring Secondary Sources

by Josh on November 17, 2005 · 0 comments

in House History,Journal

Over the past weeks I have spent some time in the central library and city records office researching the history of this house. My goals were: To find architect information, floorplans and photos of the house from the time the house was built To fill in gaps in the chronology of residents and get some […]