If Walls Could Talk

I live in a house built in 1928, by the harbor that flows into what is known as Lake Michigan.
I often wonder about the people who lived here before me. What their lives were like.
What conversations were had in the living room, the dining room, or the kitchen.
Before radio, TV, and the internet.
On the porch that now looks upon a paved and semi-busy street. Even the unused basement should have tales to tell.

My walls have only recently become acquainted with me and Mister Whiskers (the Maine Coon Cat, who is the protector of said property, chasing errant squirrels and guileless birds back into the trees), and the conversations I have with myself and others.
Mainly it is with Mister Whiskers as in “Get the freak out of my way, or you will make me trip with you weaving in and out of my footsteps”.

So far my walls only creak and moan when the wind blows strongly off the shore, although I am positive they have much to say.

What would your walls say?

For a few years as a child, my family lived in a house that had previously been the home of an industrialist, whose name is still the brand name of several automotive products, and he invented and patented a process that revolutionized motoring. When I lived there, his workshop in the garage was still pretty much intact. The attic was still full of his books. It was a big old mansion that had been subdivided into a rental duplex. Quite a fascinating place to live, even without listening to the walls.

I recall that there was some tenuous association between the house and the Borglum family (who carved Mount Rushmore), but I don’t know now what it was.

Our first house was built in 1920 in what was then a very rural area, which 40 years later, became suburban Chicagoland. The first owner built a shed-like observatory structure in the backyard. The lot must have been eventually subdivided because the door to the observatory practically opened against the neighbors fence when we bought the home. I would have liked to talk to him…

The one-car garage was constructed with that “build out” in the lower half of the garage’s rear wall {to accommodate the long hoods of some later cars}. It had a gravel floor

While swapping out the bathroom light fixture, I noticed the first owner had used his Union dues book as a spacer. I was astounded to learn that he paid what looked like to be $2.25 a week in 1926 for Union dues. Seems like an awful lot of money for the time…

I quickly put in a garden in the backyard. It was like digging in virgin prairie soil. The top soil layer was nearly two feet thick !

Another owner must have been an alcoholic because I kept finding empty semi-modern vodka bottles hidden all over the unfinished basement.
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My house’s walls are reading over my shoulder and say, “Nice username/thread combo, OP.” :smiley:

My place isn’t very old; only two families lived here before me, neither for very long. I don’t suppose the walls would have much to say, except for the slightly neurotic ones in one upstairs bedroom–“Oh, this paint makes me look bilious, doesn’t it? What were they thinking? Did they want their daughter to feel ill all the time?”

As a young college student, I lived in a very grand old house in downtown San Diego that had been converted to apartments and separate rooms. I looked it up in the census records and found all sorts of delightful details about former occupants. For example, I saw that sisters lived with their families in my house and an adjoining house. And that in the fifties, sister Millicent went from calling herself that to calling herself Millie. (How thoroughly modern!) I strongly encourage you to seek information there if you want more of a connection to your house’s previous inhabitants.

My house was built between the wars in what was a pretty rural area. I don’t know anything about the early tenants, only that a single family lived in it from the late '50s to three years ago, and that the man of the house was an enthusiastic and incompetent DIY merchant so if they walls could talk about him they’d probably say something like “leave us alone”.

I do know, interestingly, that when the house was built there was only electricity downstairs, nothing at all upstairs. Also, there is a space in the coal fireplace where there used to be a boiler, so they’d heat their water by using the same fire which heated the house. I’d love to have had a peek into what it must have been like raising a family in such a small space, at a time when having electricity was such a splendid extravagance that you’d only get it for downstairs.

My walls are calling out to the OP, that it wants to live on any harbor on Lake Michigan!! Damn the cold snowy winters but the breezy summers balance it out! I live out in the middle of the state currently!

Not sure what these walls are saying except for the fact that the previous occupants do not know how to remodel correctly/legally!

They do, however, realize that those occupants do know how to skirt paying for enough material, mostly insulation, to finish the place.

We are now correcting their idiotic mistakes, guess they did not care what their gas bill was in the winters!