Click Here to Receive New Posts
in Your Inbox

This form does not yet contain any fields.

    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

    Now Available

    Follow Me
    « Tombstone Tuesday: James and Mercy Winsor Eternally Entwined | Main | DO Try This With Your Photos At Home »

    Help Solve the Mystery with our Family Home Tour Photos!

    Last week I posted an article and birthday party photo of my mom and aunt with Mom's school friend Princess Usha, Dating a Photo of Princess Usha at the Brown Girls' Party. Notes on the back of the photo identified one location for the photo, but Mom remembered living at a different address when she was friends with the Princess. Could we determine the correct house from the photograph?

    Letters addressed to family members should have helped narrow the field, but instead they expanded the the possibilities to four houses -- (address and dates of letters)

    • 512 E. 20th Street, Santa Ana (7 Oct 1938 - 6 Jun 1939)
    • 901 W. 3rd Street, Santa Ana (12 Dec 1939 - 16 Feb 1940)
    • 1912 Spurgeon, Santa Ana (6 Dec 1940 - 19 Dec 1940)
    • 1315 N. Broadway, Santa Ana (3 Jan 1941 - 17 Jun 1944)


    512 E. 20th Street

    The houses on 3rd Street and on Spurgeon were no longer standing when we looked for them on our Family Home Tour in June 2010; however we were able to photograph a house of a style similar to the Spurgeon house located across the street from the original address.


    1912 North Spurgeon is now an apartment building. This house located across the street looked much the same as their old home, according to Suzanne and Frances.


    1315 N. Broadway, big Victorian

    After posting the original party photograph I looked through Mom’s photos again and found another picture that had been mounted in her album. This snapshot shows more of the house, including a pillared porch. Details from both photos indicate

    • narrow wood siding with waist-high trim board
    • a good-sized covered porch supported by Classical columns located on the corner of the house
    • steps to the porch from a concrete walkway
    • simple wood-framed windows and doors
    • a hint of rafter in the upper right-hand corner of the picture indicates a roof gable over the porch or a wrap-around eave from a hip roof
    • house situated on a corner lot

    Birthday Party for Susie or Frances Brown, ca 1940.

    Looking at the photos once more, it seems that

    • The style is not Victorian, eliminating the house at 1315 North Broadway.
    • The eaves and lot situation of the house at 512 E. 20th conflict with the party photo house.
    • Therefore the house pictured must be either Spurgeon or the missing 3rd Street house.

    Mr. Curator moonlights as a General Contractor and thinks that houses opposite each other on Spurgeon Street could have been mirror opposites. If so, this house would be very similar to the one shown in the party photograph. The 2010 home has obviously been extensively remodeled; it may have had an original wood front porch with columns. The stone siding added to the lower portion may have originally been wood with a trim board. The house also shows a wrap-around eave suggested in the original party photo.

    What do you think? Is this the right house, or should we keep looking?

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    Reader Comments (3)

    I think you are correct with the Spurgeon street house. When you compare the steps in the two pictures (the party picture and the 2010 picture)they seems very similar. Both have the same number of steps and everything as far as the height, width and depth of the steps looks the same. Even the top of the step, I think it is called the tread, looks to be made from the same type of stone.

    August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Andrew

    This is fun!

    August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGinger Smith

    As hard as I tried, I could believe that the house in the photo is like the Spurgeon Street house. It would be interesting if (unlikely, though) you could talk to the owners of that house to see if they remember how it looked earlier and if the know the previous owners.

    Good luck!

    August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
    Find us on Google+