Several weeks ago, we had a garage sale to empty out our basement for the remodel that is happening right now. Mission accomplished, and we even got to meet a few more of our neighbors in the process. One of them had done some work on our house and told me that we were the third owners (though he must mean the fourth) of our 1920 bungalow. (That would explain why the walls and floors are in perfect condition.)
He also mentioned that our home is a kit home, as in the original owners ordered the house via Sears or another maker of homes at the time. How cool! Back then, homes were commonly mail-ordered and shipped in two boxcars to the destination city. A local builder would then pick up the shipment and assemble the house.
I have been scouring the archives of various catalogs to find our house plans. The one above by Portland-based Fenner Homes is the closest I've found. I'm not convinced that ours is indeed a kit home since I have been unable to find any stamped beams or markings on the original built-ins. My next stop is the county courthouse to see if anything is listed on the original deed.
I don't know what it is about finding out about the history of a home, but I am completely captivated by the idea.
Right now, all I know is that in 1931 and again in 1935, the original owners used newspapers to insulate the draft basement. And that The Oregonian used to cost 5 cents.