Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow

Flower

Reaching out to a former resident of my house

This discovery of pieces of clothing belonging to some previous owners of my house prompted me to look up which family was living here during the 1930s and 40s.

According to my research (available in PDF form here and here) the family living here at that time was Louis A. Halden, his wife Delta, and their daughter Judy. Their son Hal may or may not have been born yet. Louis started and ran the Capitol Coal Company in Des Moines and according to the city directory, the family lived in my house from 1941 to 1944 or 45. (1945 directory was missing at the time I stopped in the library.) So I’m guessing the jeans belonged to Louis, the slips, red dress, and apron belonged to Delta, and the little girl clothes belonged to Judy.

Louis’ obituary lists Judy by her married name and living in a small town in Michigan. I looked her up on whitepages.com and sure enough, there she was, still living in that same town. I copied down her address and wrote her a letter. In the letter I explained that I found clothes in the house that might have belonged to her family, and asked if she might have any photos of the house she’d be willing to share with me. I hope she writes back!

Meanwhile, I spent some time cleaning up the clothes and taking photos of them. I don’t think I’ll hang onto them long term. There’s not much left of them but rags. I might cut some squares of the fabric to keep as a souvenir. I’ll share my photos of the clothing with you though. (Just a reminder, if you click on any of my photos, they’ll take you to my Flickr page where you can see a larger version. You may be able to see more detail in larger versions for the pictures I took with the macro setting.)

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5 Responses to “Reaching out to a former resident of my house”

  1. February 13th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Jenni@ThirteenEleven says:

    I love that red dress… how pretty…. I hope hear back from your letter.

  2. February 14th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Jennfier says:

    Yeah, likely they were clothing deemed as rags before they even made it into your crack. How neat to look through, though!
    Maybe a quilt or a fabric collage in a frame would be neat.

  3. February 20th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Stacy says:

    That is really cool… it’s a story unfolding. The purple dress must have been stunning. The embroidery/sewing is definitely intricate (I’m amazed at how detailed the photographs are).

  4. February 25th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Cassie Sampson says:

    I LOVE your photos here. The details are absolutely stunning.

  5. February 25th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Kelli says:

    LOVE the macro setting on my camera! 😉

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