Thursday, December 3, 2009

Google A House

Today I read Randy's post about how he found information (including pictures) of the home his mother and grandmother lived in by searching for the address in Google, I was inspired - and I knew exactly what home I wanted to search for.

Last month, my Great Auntie Bub (Elizabeth Harney Pieren) passed away. She lived a long and full life, but it still has shaken my family up quite a bit. We all have so many wonderful memories of her, and we are all so blessed to have known her.

And all of us know her house. It was the house that my great grandparents bought. It is in the Maple Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington on a corner lot. It is a two story house with only one bathroom (only a tub - no shower). It has one bedroom downstairs, and 3 upstairs (you have to walk through one to get to the next, since there aren't any hallways upstairs).

Even though I am now a young adult, I still can't put my finger on what makes that house so magical. Maybe it has something to do with the history of the house (built in 1911) and the variety of people who have lived in the house throughout it's history (up to 17 at one point!). Or maybe it is the garden that used to be outside that my Great Uncle Chris maintained while he was alive. Maybe it was the all the old clothing, beds, photo albums, and odds and ends that could be found upstairs. Truthfully, I think it is a combination of all of these.

My cousins and I were only allowed upstairs during the summer, when that house would host the Annual Ping Pong Tournament and party. My uncles would fly up from California for a few weeks and sleep in the upstairs bedroom. My cousins and I would spend hours up there - exploring the old vanity (which had more bottles of perfume than a department store), exploring old coats (we found money in there once!), or just using our imaginations.

We would pretend that we were top secret spies and we were to protect a government party. We would pretend that we worked in a salon or that we were fashion designers. But the best game of all was hide and seek (the closets seemed like the never-ending wardrobe from that book, Narnia)

Point is, this house means a lot to me and my family. It has been years since I've seen it in person but I want share what it looks like. Click here to see a picture of the house, thanks to


Greta Koehl said...

My condolences on your great-aunt's death. Ah, yes, magical houses - I remember a couple of them from my childhood. And you are right, they do inspire our imagination.

Heather Rojo said...

I remember some really cool houses from my family. My aunt lived in a house built in 1675 in Beverly, Massachusetts, near the Salem line. It was spooky, with low ceilings, cupboards with hidden panels, and a fireplace big enough for several kids to stand up inside. Another relative had a big house full of family portraits going back 300 years (but the house was destroyed to build a highway!) You've brought back some memories.... I'm using google maps right now to look at some other colonial houses with "streetview"....

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Google has given us a nice tool to use in constructing our house histories. When Google Earth came out, I went bonkers looking at all sorts of ancestral locations, and my Google Earth has pins all over it!

It's fun!

Karen Packard Rhodes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Hi, Elyse. I have nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. You may retrieve the award here.

hummer said...

I have not tried that will have to now. Wonderful post about fun with the extended family. Nice memories.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for giving us such a wonderful story. I have understood your overwhelming attachment with your Great Auntie. It seems very much hurting when we loose some one most nearest. You have depicted your memory so inventively and magnificently that I have seen every character in from of my eyes.

I want to share with you the story of my uncle. When I was ten years of age I had lost my uncle. I adored him very much. Unfortunately I had no records except our faded memory. At that time I visited Public Records and thanks God I found his records.