Today I spent my first day in the house – no we haven’t moved in, that’s sure to hit Twitter first – organizing the architectural plans for most of the homes in our neighborhood and searching for the plans for the Hatcher House. The history lessons have been delightful. Joseph Durkee, who owned much of the land in the neighborhood, subdivided his holdings into lots and decided who could buy and what they could build. A neighbor mentioned he now has possession of all the plans from the Durkee family, and offered to let me look through for my house, then I offered to organize the rest by address.

Original lots here were generally sold for at least $4,000 in the mid 50’s. Mr. Durkee wrote a letter to the bank advising that one proposed buyer should not have been approved for a mortgage because he seemed to lack sufficient income – the mortgage was for $19,500 and the buyer only made $6,600 per year as a bank clerk. A number of local architects and builders were involved in designing and building the homes, and almost all were designed as one level homes with an understated appearance. A few original owners are still in the neighborhood, as well as many descendants of the original families. Tracking the homes by the year built, I saw that many lots sat for a while before homes were built. I could imagine watching the houses pop up initially in the mid 50’s, then a smattering in the late 60’s and early 70’s, with a few stragglers in the 80’s. No trees clear cut or widespread construction, just organic growth over the years.

After opening the last bag and working my way through half of it without finding our plans, I was becoming disheartened. But this story shall have a happy ending – curled up modestly with the few remaining sets was an entire permit plan set with the name “Hatcher” scrawled across the outer edge.

As to our news: We have wood flooring on our top floor! We have wood flooring in our dining room and kitchen! We have tile in the second bathroom! We have a refrigerator and oven and dishwasher and induction cooktop…to install! We have kitchen cabinets…to assemble! Must be time to return to the present.