Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Such fun I’m having with my new book of World War I-era real estate listings for North Texas (and other places!). Thursday, I took a long-ish lunch break from the Texas State Genealogical Society conference and drove to the address in one of the 1915 Fort Worth listings. The house is still there! After navigating some road construction and trying to locate house numbers, I found the house.
Here’s the original listing as it appeared in business records of a real estate agency in 1915. The words were written in a thick pencil.
“W.M. Graham, R-4849. Two-story, 9-room brick house. 5 up and sleep porch. 4 down. Modern in every respect. Bath up stairs with toilet. Toilet downstairs. Basement with hot furnace. Gas in all rooms. Hot water up and down stairs. Closet in every room. Two-story brick garage for three autos. Barn for two horses. Lot 80x150 feet. Fronts north and east. Price $20,000. No incumbrance. Will consider good farm close to Fort Worth at around $15,000 or good place not too far from Fort Worth. Will give plenty time on balance.”
While snapping photos, the current owner walked up. That’s always an anxiety-producing situation, but he was very nice and interested in the book and the information about the house and the historic neighborhood. He does not live there but offices there now, and is not related to the original owners.
He told me the house was built about 1907. The two-story brick garage is still there but shows evidence (to me, at least) of room for only two autos—arched openings that have since been bricked over. The barn is no longer there. He said some of the rooms had been combined over the years and that the structure was once a boarding house. An iron fence encompasses the property now.
In my mind it is still a beautiful turn-of-the-century neighborhood, even though some nearby houses have been razed, some are overgrown, and some have been turned into apartments. Across the street is a lovely bed and breakfast. This frame building of the same era boasts a cupola and wraparound porch.
After working with the records for so long, transcribing page after page of real estate listings in order to produce the book, it was a delight to see Old Fort Worth come alive to me at the first address I looked for!
The book is Fort Worth Real Estate: Ben F. Allen & Sons Business Records, City Property, 1914-1916, Vol. I, and is available from me by mail at Lisa McKinney, P.O. Box 997, Edgewood, TX 75117, for $30 + $2.48 sales tax if shipped to a Texas address, plus $8 for shipping.