Monday, December 3, 2007

A Boxful of History

Having studied archaeology in college, I obviously have a great deal of interest in the past. So it should come as no surprise that I was very excited when I found out that the original owners of our house left behind a box full of old photographs. I've spent many hours studying the pictures, trying to figure out who was who and when was what. With the help of Shirley Hyatt, a local historian, and Scott Hawley, a relative of the family in the photographs, I've managed to piece together a bit of the history of the house and some of its early occupants.

From what I've been able to piece together, the house was built in 1916-17 by Charles Cornell. Before this Cornell, a machinist, lived in North Columbus, the neighborhood just south of Clintonville. Unfortunately, for a reason I have yet to uncover, Cornell was forced to sell the house in 1918. The buyer was Solomon Ankrom, a blacksmith who also lived in North Columubus. The Ankrom family had moved to Columbus from Vinton County in the southern part of the state sometime after 1910.

Solomon passed away in 1935 and Lydia in 1948. Son Lindsay had moved to a house on the opposite side of Walhalla ravine after getting married in 1927. But daughter Estella remained in the house for nearly 70 years until her death in 1987 at the age of 98. And so thanks to Estella for leaving behind a fascinating treasure chest of her family's history.

Before moving into the house in 1918, the Ankroms lived in a large duplex on High Street. The duplex is still there, now rented by OSU students. This picture shows Solomon and Lydia on the left with their neighbors/landlords.

Here is a picture of Solomon standing on the west side of the house. Notice the screens in the kitchen windows.

This is son Lindsay in front of the grocery store where he worked after moving to Columbus. It was located downtown.

Lindsay, Lydia, possibly Estella, and Sonny the cat. The concrete barrier behind them is still there, acting as a guard rail above the ravine. Probably taken in the early 40's.

Here's a couple of interesting pictures of Lindsay and his wife Grace in what appears to be a camping area.

This is just a sample of the pictures, but I'll share the others with you some time later.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday Surprise

The Winter issue of American Bungalow came out last week and our house appears in the Family Album section of the magazine. It can also be seen on the American Bungalow website here. I submitted it back in early summer, so I've been waiting for it to appear. Glad to say that it holds its own against the other houses in the Album. And very cool to open up such a great magazine and see a picture of your own home.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Finally, Some New Pictures!

I apologize for the long wait, as I know many of you have been checking for new posts, but its been a case of one-thing-after-another (usually not house-related, fortunately). At the moment I find myself at home sick and with some time to share a few new pictures.

A view of the fireplace end of the living room. For this seating area we decided to do something keeping with the period the house was built and settled on wicker.

Here's a photo of the dining room with the table and chairs.

And another shot looking the other direction. Ignore the out-of-place Victorian bench under the window. Its for the cats. :)

One of the last changes we made was to remove the shag carpet runner on the stairs and replace it with something more appropriate.

This is our bedroom. Honestly, I'm mainly showing off my wife's quilts. They're completely handmade. The one on the bed took around 7 years to finish.

This is one of our two cats. Her name is Spider. She's showing how much she appreciates those 7 years of work. BTW, sometime down the road I'll be doing a post about the house's original feline resident, Sonny.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Petunia Surprise

The last couple of weeks have been rather busy, so I haven't had time to post anything to the blog, but I just had to share this stand of petunias that suddenly sprang up in the otherwise sad excuse of a patio. Hopefully, next week I'll have some time to share what I've discovered about the history of the land our house sits on and then report on the upcoming open house. Until then, enjoy the petunias!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Some Interior Details

I thought I would share some pictures of a few of the interesting details around the interior of the house.

Door hardware. All of the doors have their original hardware. I love the patina.

Matching lifts on the first floor windows.

Ceiling light in the living room. I have no idea of its age.

Door stop. I need to reattach a couple of them, but all are accounted for.

Latch on one of the dormer windows. One of them is missing its ring, but all of the windows are painted shut, unfortunately.

If a dormer window could open, this chain would hold it open. All 4 of the windows have them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A Look at the Exterior

Here's a few pictures of the exterior of the house.

A full shot of the house

The front (of course)

The west side, looking towards the ravine

The east side and the backyard

The view from the front porch

Nelsonville Block bricks are ubiquitous around Ohio University, our alma mater, so I think it's pretty cool that we have a few along the front of the house

Monday, May 7, 2007

More Post-Painting Pictures

By popular demand here are some more pictures of the freshly painted house.

All 16 feet of bookcases and mantle.

The back bedroom

The middle bedroom

The front bedroom

Here is what was under the carpet

Next time, exterior photos!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Weekend of Painting

We just finished 3 days of painting 6 of the 7 rooms in the house. Fortunately, we had lots of help from both my mom and sister, so everything went relatively smoothly. There was a bit of worry that the paint in the living room wasn't going to work out, but once the second coat was on everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Here are some before-and-after pictures.

The living room before:

The living room after:

The dining room (with the kitchen and living room in the background) before:

The dining room after (with new light fixture, too):

I didn't take any pictures of the rooms upstairs, but the changes there are just as dramatic as those downstairs. We also removed carpet from the upstairs, so that means several days of staple pulling ahead. Messy work but at least the floors have been liberated!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The 1917 Aladdin Catalog

Here is the listing for the Marsden in the 1917 Aladdin Company catalog, pages 41 and 42:

"Each year the sales of this attractive semi-bungalow far exceed the preceding year, and best of all its rapidly increasing number of owners are invariably delighted with their new home. We wish you could read some of the entertaining letters, without solicitation, received from scores of Marsden owners. They will of course be sent on request. Just study the lines of this bungalow and note how artistically appointed is every part, - the straight line dormer with exposed eaves in exact keeping with the eave of the front porch - the extended bay window with roof and brackets, breaking the gable end - the windows of different sizes and styles and location - these and many other points make the exterior of the Marsden truly artistic.

In interior planning and arrangement, this modern bungalow presents what might well be said to be the last word in designing. On entering the large living room, 26x16, extending across the entire front, one is attracted by the beautiful bookcase arch separating the living and dining rooms. Beautiful in itself, yet this arch by means of its glass doors and adjustable shelves forms at once a convenient, attractive and useful piece of house furnishings. Notice the abundance of light in living and dining rooms. A well arranged kitchen with stairs leading to grade landing complete the first floor. Ascending to the second floor by the semi-open stairs at end of living room, one enters a central hall from which easy access is gained to each of the three large bedrooms and the bath. Please note the clothes closet with each bedroom - a most appreciated adjunct for every sleeping room. The price includes everything above the foundation to complete the bungalow. Front steps, grade entrance and cellar stairs. Siding can be substituted if desired for wall shingles at no additional cost."

Buyers had the option to make changes to the standard kit. In our house, the original owner opted for French doors rather than a bookcase arch between the dining and living rooms. To compensate for the loss of these bookcases, two larger bookcases were installed on either side of the fireplace. Another change was replacing half of the dining room closet with a built-in buffet and using the other half as a closet accessible from above the grade entrance.