Saturday, March 6, 2010

History Lesson and New Project

We were at a friends the other night and he showed us his collection of San Diego city directories from the 1930's 40's and 50's. What is neat about these old city directories is that they list people by address, and also list occupation. So of course, we set out to find our house and we learned some interesting things. Our address changed sometime between 1941 and 1946 to its current address, and the apartment building across the street was built between 1948 and 1950.
So, in 1930, our house was rented to a Ralph L French who had a radio repair shop behind the house! (We live on a corner and the house address faces one street and this other address faces the other street) There is a foundation in the backyard and I have found piles of rusty tools and metal parts, so now it makes sense.
In 1937 Mr French was still here and still had the shop. I found Mr French in the California Death index, and it turns out he was born in 1897 and lived till 1983 - so he was in his thirties when he lived here...
In 1941, the house was rented to a Luther and Florance M. Persing. Mr Persing was a machinist for CA Corp.
In 1947 -48, the house was owned by Ray A. and Ellen Yeager. Mr Yeager was also a machinist, but he worked for Convair.
In 1955, The Yeagers were still here, and per the California death index, Mr Yeager who was born in 1891, died in 1966. The house was renovated in the mid 1960's with blue carpet and sparkly gold veined tile, so maybe it was renovated after it was sold? More research needed here!
With this info, it brings up more questions! We still don't know who built the house, and the San Diego directories only go back to 1927. We will definitely need to make a trip down to the public libraries to see the other years. I know that the Prior owners were elderly and had the last name of Smith, but no one I have talked to know how long they were here.

In other news, we received a very nice gift of stained glass cabinet doors that fit nicely in our alcove opening in the dining room.

If you look at the very early pictures of the house after we bought it, you will notice the trashed remains of a built in hutch that we had to pull our because it was a rodent condo and they had chewed and ruined the wood shelves with their refuse. I had always planned to rebuild it, but that project was pretty far down the list. We got some Masonite that is moulded to look like bead board and lined the space so it didn't look so bad. So now with the doors in hand, I designed a new buffet modeled after the built in bookcases in the living room -
It will have a beveled mirror at the back of the buffet section, which we bought for $9.99 at Walmart - its a simple closet mirror but just so happens to be the perfect size - how about that!