Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Is it just me or does it seem that Labor Day always entails alot of work? One of these days, I swear I'm going to do NOTHING on Labor Day...no schedules, no festivals, no plans, and absolutely no honey-do lists. I couldn't wait to get back to my job today so I could get some rest from the weekend.
As you know, J. and I are working our fingers to the bone right now on the old house across the street from us. But today I want to share a bit of history of our own painted lady that we were able to find in the water company archives. It's the original water permit from when the house was finished in 1899!
If you look closely, there are some really interesting artifacts on here. It's permit 1414, which means our house was one of the early houses in Kansas City to have indoor plumbing. But I find the lower left-hand corner to be really interesting. Cows, horses and vehicles? Did they really base the water rate on how many of these the person owned?
Information is sparse, but it makes sense that they didn't have water meters in 1899. And it probably follows that someone with livestock would probably water their animals with city water if necessary. I'm not surprised that none are listed on this permit, because our part of town was fairly well-to-do with many houses being built by the up-and-comers that were benefiting from the housing and construction boom during the 1890's. So far, we've been unable to track down the mysterious "J. Smith" that is listed as the permit owner.
I find it incredibly cool that the water company would still have this piece of history and be willing to give us a copy. They have these dating back into the 1880's if you're interested in locating the one for your old house. Additionally, all structures standing in 1941 were photographed and are housed in the archives. Those are available also for a small fee (to pay for the copy).
When we bought our house in 1998, it looked very much the same as it does here except it was in serious need of a rehab both inside and outside. That double-decker sleeping porch wasn't original to the house, so we shored it up to keep it from falling off and waited until we had saved up enough to tear everything off and start over. There were motorcycles parked on the hardwood floors and parts being washed in the clawfoot bathtub, plastic deer targets in the staircases, and a kitchen sink being held up by 2"x4"s. The real estate agent was griping about people who kept stealing his for-sale sign. But somehow a couple of young 20-somethings saw the potential and, after 13 years of blood, sweat and tears, we have a pretty darn cool house that's just 6 minutes from work for both J. and I.
And that's how we became "urban pioneers".
Tomorrow, I'm going to take you across the street and introduce you to THE PROJECT. You won't believe the before and afters.
There's a new blog hop that I'm sharing this with: go check out the inaugural Down Home hop over at Tilly's Nest!