Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The House That Bert Built

Grandma took us to see her childhood home.  If I have the story straight, her parents purchased 6 lots in town - not quite half an acre.  At first they lived on a little house on the back corner, by the alleyway.  I'm not sure if that house was there when they bought the property, or if they built it.  But they lived there while Wilbert (he went by Bert)  built the new house.

It was during World War II, and building materials were scarce.  To save on lumber, the ceilings are only seven feet tall.  The shorter height was not a problem, because neither Bert nor Ruby were tall people.  The little house was nearly 800 square feet, and had two bedrooms and a bath, a living room and a kitchen.  Down a narrow flight of stairs was a wash room, space to store the food Ruby bottled, and a wood shop where Bert worked, stored his tools, and turned wooden bowls.  The house was finished in 1939.

Bert and Ruby had four girls and a boy, and they all lived cozily in the home they called the Cleveland House.  The four girls shared the upstairs bedroom, and the son slept in a little corner of the basement.

In the ample lot, the family grew an abundant garden, fruit trees, roses, and lilac bushes.  It was a lovely place to raise children.  They learned how to work hard and be thrifty.

We stayed at cousin Lynn's house, and she showed us some pictures of her and her mother (Grandma's oldest sister) in front of the house.  This was in the early 50's, maybe?

Bert was a photographer, and took many pictures and portraits of his little family.  I'm sure there are some pictures of the Cleveland House with Ruby and the children.  I'd like to find some.  For now, I have this picture of two of the nicest ladies in the state - Grandma and Cousin Lynn - in front of the cutest little house I'd love to buy if I had a whole bunch fewer children!

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