Uncovering The Past & The Upcoming Quasquicentennial

February 26, 2013 — 2 Comments


While we were working up on the third floor this weekend we spent a good bit of time talking about the house and its history. We realized that the house is going to be 125 years old in May. This may call for a Quasquicentennial Party! Hmmm, maybe this will give me incentive to get the AC working by then.

We are fortunate to know the age of the house, originally because a generous soul from our little borough put together a history complete with the year every house was built. This was confirmed a few years ago by a little slip of paper that we found under the stairs when we were building the half bath (the one in the middle of the picture above). It is a receipt for shingles dated May 2, 1888. It also includes the builder’s name Mr. J. Welsh (who built a number of houses in our town).


All of the items in the 2 frames above contain paper that we have found in the house. I think my two favorite are the piece of sheep puzzle and the letter in the top of the second one. It says, “Come over Bill and I will sit with you.” Then it has an o.k. (circled so I assume that he agreed).


This is our latest find. The previous owners’ signatures from March 4, 1977.  It is above the front windows in the third floor bedroom. Unfortunately a lot of this will be lost when we cut the plaster for the insulation. They also told us when we bought the house that there is an original 1888 signature in the craft room. Unfortunately the wallpaper is stuck on pretty tight and there is a really good chance we will loose it when we cut the plaster, which makes me a little sad.

Has anyone else found anything interesting in their house?


2 responses to Uncovering The Past & The Upcoming Quasquicentennial

  1. Not so much something we found, but the history of our house connects with our own in a strange and wonderful way.
    Jon’s parents are longtime members of the Quaker meetinghouse in Charlottesville, VA, and one day after meeting they were talking to a good friend of theirs, Jay Worrall. Jon’s father had served with Jay’s son in Quaker peace services during the Vietnam War.
    Jay was in his 80s at this point, and when they mentioned that their son and daughter-in-law had recently bought a house in Media, Pennsylvania, he was very interested.
    “I grew up in Media,” said Jay. “What street?”
    So Jon’s parents told him and he said, “My childhood home was on that street! What number?”
    Well, it turns out that Jay Worrall was not only born in our house, but his grandfather, Winfield Worrall, was our home’s original owner and builder. Jay’s Aunt Charlotte (“Lottie”) inherited the house and lived here until she sold it to Dick Quigley. We bought the house from Dick in 2007.
    In 2008, about a year before he died, Jay paid a visit to our house with his granddaughter and two of his great grandchildren. It was the first time he’d been to the house in more than 50 years, and he was able to give us so much information about its history, including the actual year it was built (we’d only had a date range before).
    A few months after Jay’s visit I happened to meet Jay’s son, Jay Jr., at the Philadelphia Quaker Meetinghouse when I was there for a site visit. He was there giving tours and when I told him I was from Media he said, “Oh, my father grew up in Media…” and began describing our house! Dick Quigley’s kids have also come back to visit the house over the years. I love that all the people who have lived here feel such a connection to this house. It’s one of the great joys of living in a home with history!
    Sorry for the long post, but I get sentimental over these ol’ houses of ours!

    • Katie, that is such a lovely story! That is so amazing that you knew someone actually BORN in your house! Clearly your house was meant for you guys.

      We keep waiting for someone to come by! Before the previous owner (who I see on a regular basis but doesn’t know who I am), a woman lived here for over 40 years with her daughter. We keep hoping that her daughter might come by. We also know from census records that our house was a rental for most of its early life, so I don’t think we will ever get to meet any relatives from a long time ago. 🙁

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