Not only did they accept our offer, first try…They did not even counter…I was dumbfounded. Excited. Amazed. And ever so grateful.
I HAD A HOUSE! My first ever! And boy oh boy what a house it was. Almost 4000 square feet to finish, live in, and looooooooooooooove!
I fell instantly and completely in love with my house from minute one. And I wanted to devour everything I could about it.
We now set about to learn everything we could about our home. It’s just kind of who we are. It matters to us. Who lived there? How did it come to be? What children ran through these hallways? What memories did it hold?
What kind of house was it? (I learned it was a Mid Century Ranch!)
A quick side note: The truly amazing part to us, is just that previous summer when we had started looking we had actually driven through this EXACT neighborhood while looking at a house around the corner. And we LOVED the neighborhood but assumed it was far outside of anything we could afford. And here it was, less than a year later and we were right back there…Fate? Mere coincidence?
That’s your own belief preference I suppose. But deep in my heart I felt like maybe this was where we were supposed to be the whole time.
We asked EVERYONE we met about the house. And by not being afraid to do so, we learned a ton. Our house was in one of the first housing developments in Pickerington. Our neighborhood was laid out and built between 1957-1965-ish. With numerous houses being added later in the 70’s presumably when owners sold off parts of their plots.
The yards are big so we kind of think everyone started with at least a half-acre and many are on an acre!
We have 1.2 which actually used to be bigger as well. We learned at closing that some of our original lot had been sold off to our neighbors in 1961. Dang it!
Anyway, the architect who built the neighborhood and many of the houses, was the owner of our house. His name was Talmadge Johnson or more affectionately knows as Tam. Most of the houses are the same. You can tell by simply driving by. Mid Century Ranches. Sun porches. Carports or Garages. Most were built with stucco or brick. Though its clear through the years people added siding to their homes.
We have a fabulous two car detached garage on the rear of our property, and research shows that it was built 2 years before our house. There is no driveway going back there, but if you look REAL close you can see by the slope of our yard that there used to be.
So when our 80 something year old neighbor stopped by to introduce herself, we picked her brain. She is an original owner, and was friends with my previous owner, so she had tons of info.
Here is an abbreviated story of my house:
The land was originally Indian land, of course. Then in the late 1800’s it became a part of 160 acres of land belonging to the big beautiful, but falling down, Dovel-Bowers house.
(This house is listed on the National Register Of Historic Places, and was actually the house we went to look at in 2010. It was for sale at that time, actually IN our price range, but was cash only due to the disrepair that it was in. http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/OH/Fairfield/state.html )
After that we are told it was a country club for a while before it was developed.
Tam laid out the neighborhood in 1956-1957, built several of the houses, using the garage as his staging point. Then he began to build his OWN home.
Our home, while still the basic floor plan as everyone else is just slightly bigger than everyone elses all the way around. A perk of being the builder I suppose! Our lot by far is the biggest, and we are lucky enough to have a stream and woods that back to our property.
He did well when he chose his own home location. We are one of the few houses that have a walk out basement due in part to being built into a hillside. A plus for a basement. A minus when mowing the lawn!
Our house was finished in 1959 and Tam, his wife Lorraine, and daughter Kaye lived here for about 8 years. I mention their names because two of the streets in our neighborhood are named Lorraine Drive and Kaye Drive!
Tam then retired to Florida and sold the house to Kaye’s mother and father in law. The Mathew’s. They moved in around 1966. And here they stayed. Mr. Mathew passed away in 1987 and his widow stayed here until 2010 when dementia and Alzheimer’s forced her family to put her in a nursing home.
I can not imagine how she must have felt to leave the house she had spent the last 40+ years in. The one that held very dear memories to her. To say I felt connected to her from the start would be an understatement. I felt her love for this house. And I vowed to always honor her memory. I felt grateful to have been given her house.
By all accounts she was a very strong woman. Who loved her home. She loved her family. And she loved this neighborhood. A woman after my own heart!
It was IMMACULATE. Original everything. Carpet. Draperies. Light fixtures. And when we ripped up the carpet to expose the beautiful oak floors, there was so very little dust and dirt that it was hard to believe the carpet had laid there for 50 years.
Just over one month after I purchased her home, Mrs. Mathew passed away. She loved this house so much that it was referenced in her obituary and it was included in a funeral possession drive by…
So here we are. I am the third owner of this house. I know I won’t be the last. But I hope to be here an awfully long time.
It was important for me to document this history because I am a fan of history all together. Especially my own. This house is now part of MY history. And I look on Tam and Mrs. Mathew somehow as extended family members. I never met them. Never knew them. But connected all the same due to the love for a pink stucco ranch…
Here is a picture of my neighborhood (Courtesy of the Pickerington Historical Society).
This is on the corner of 256 and Hill Road looking down Columbus street.
There is a Circle K strip mall now there facing you. My street is the one you see in the background with the old pick up truck on it. If you followed that street back and around, you would see my house! And if it was included, to the far right of the picture, just off Columbus, you would see the Dovel-Bowers house.
So in the end, we didnt get the giant old manor home…But we did get 1.2 of her original 160 acres!