When you have finished researching the history of your home, what do you plan to do with the information you have collected? Just like genealogical research, the information is not that helpful if it is locked away in a file cabinet or sitting in a folder somewhere on your computer. Your family stories deserve to be told, and so do the stories of your home. One way to preserve your hard work, and to make it more interesting to your family or the next owner of your home, is to make a photo book. There are many online services that make it easy to upload your photos, lay them out in a template, and add accompanying text. I personally have used Shutterfly and Snapfish to create photo books in the past, and my husband has been happy with the quality of Blurb. While at first glance the companies may seem a little expensive, there are always discount coupons available so you never need to pay full price for a book. Snapfish periodically offers a buy one, get two free deal, which is great if you want to make multiple copies of the book. It would be nice to leave a copy with a future homeowner, as well as give one to any previous homeowner who has been particularly helpful with your research. Or your local historical society might appreciate a copy.
Last week I received the house history book that I created on Shutterfly. I began with a very brief overview of the land that my town is located on, and included a few sentences about Alexander Russell’s Subdivision, which is where my lot is located. This was followed by a discussion about Claude Morton, who had the home built in 1902, and the house plans that he purchased from Ladies’ Home Journal. Since I had been fortunate enough to meet two of Claude’s great-grandaughters, I was able to include many family photos in the book. Next I moved on to the Lindholm family, who were the second owners of the home. I did not have any photos to share, but since I have spoken to two of the children who grew up in the house I was able to gather some background information to add to the story. As the third owners of the home, we have made the most significant modifications to the house as well as the gardens. I was able to include before and after pictures of each project. The finished book provides a wonderful documentary of our house over the course of its 113 year history.
Will you be writing your house history?