Houstory visits new — and old — friends in New England

By Dan Hiestand, Houstory Marketing Director

The past few days have been good ones for Houstory.

As Mike and I forge ahead, we are more excited than ever at the possibilities. In the coming months, we look forward to exciting developments and partnerships — which we’ll let you know more about in the near future. In the meantime, we wanted to share some of what has happened during our trip to Massachusetts over the past few days.

houstory, marian pierre-louis, maureen taylor, home history, house history

(left to right)  Mike Hiestand, Maureen Taylor, Marian Pierre-Louis and Dan Hiestand

First, we had a chance to visit with two people who have been very important to our company’s young development: Maureen Taylor, ‘The Photo Detective,’ and ‘The New England House Historian‘ Marian Pierre-Louis. Mike and I had a chance to sit down for lunch with both of them, and discuss a few ideas. More than that, it was great just to finally meet them in person after reading their blogs, monitoring their Tweets and chatting with them on the phone and via e-mail.

Maureen has been instrumental in helping Houstory produce an archival-quality book. From our first telephone conversation in 2008, she has helped us to build a product of the highest quality through meticulous selection of materials — specifically helping to guide us in our choice of acid- and lignin-free paper, and our archival-safe photo sleeves. In other words, she was our ‘preservation guru’, and has even authored an article on the topic for our Web site.

We have only recently connected with Marian, but have watched her work from afar for quite some time and learned a ton about home history research from her along the way. In the world of home historians, she is among the best, and obviously we are quite fortunate to have connected with her.

Additionally, we attended the 2012 New England Conference & Trade Show, hosted by the Professional Association of Innkeepers International in Hyannis, Mass., on Cape Cod. Along the way, we re-visited old friends, made a lot of new ones and took a trip to Provincetown to take in the scenery. While in ‘P-Town,’ Mike and I were lucky enough to attend a huge community party at The Red Inn, built in 1915.

Provincetown, Cape Cod

A beach house with a bright yellow door and colorful boats on Cape Cod.

The evening, which took place in cozy confines and in the shadow of the historic homes and lighthouses on Cape Cod, was magical. Complimentary appetizers included lobster bisque, bacon-wrapped oysters, incredible bread pudding and lots of new friends — all in the comfort of a beautiful historic building. Thank you to The Red Inn for your generosity!

Provincetown, Massachusetts, Cape Cod

Located on beautiful Provincetown Harbor, in one of the world’s most spectacular settings, The Red Inn has welcomed guests since 1915.

After five years, Houstory heading off to first trade shows!

It’s hard to believe our little company started in early 2007. That seems a long time ago. But here we are.

And now, after loads of research and development — and just plain hard work —  we are excited to be attending our first trade shows, starting this next weekend. This trip will be a lot of fun — kind of like showing off a project at the science fair. The blood, sweat and tears have already been spilled. Now it’s up to the judges. 🙂

Our first stop will be the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show & Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Va. (March 4-6). Attendees from all over the East Coast will be on hand. We’re  looking forward to meeting a lot of innkeepers, and hearing the interesting stories behind their properties.

The following weekend, we travel to Philadelphia for the Designer Craftsmen & Historic Home Show (March 10-11). Check out our profile for the show. If you live in Philadelphia, or will be in attendance, please stop by our booth and say, “hi.”

These are only the first two of many conferences we will be attending in 2012. We’ll write more on future plans at a later date.

Finally, we want to say “thank you” to everyone who has supported us along the way. We couldn’t have arrived at this point without the support of our family, friends, colleagues, vendors and — of course — loyal customers.  This especially goes out to our lovely wives — and much better halves — Tasi and Patty!

As we will be on the road next week, I’m not sure if we’ll have a blog posting or not. I hope to give some updates on how things are going from the road via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, so please make sure to follow us there.

Wish us luck!

Houstory heading to Williamsburg & Philadelphia; Twitter time; baby, it’s cold outside

Before I begin this post, I first want to say I hope our readers in the Pacific Northwest are staying warm. My niece posted on Facebook that it was 17 degrees where she was in Ferndale, Wash. Ouch! Looks like I got out just in time.

It's always sunny...in Texas.

Until recently, I was living at the ‘Houstory World Headquarters’ in Ferndale with my brother Mike (the Houstory Publishing founder) and his lovely family — but in late December I moved back to Austin, Tex., to be with my beautiful wife and to start the ‘Lone Star’ division of our company.

As I look outside my office window (it’s a rather pleasant 76 degrees and sunny) I have to say I think I made a pretty good decision to skip winter. Sorry, that was just cruel. At least you folks up in Washington state don’t have to deal with ‘Cedar Fever‘ — a gem of an ailment I’m suffering from that strikes Texans during the middle of winter. I suppose that’s justice, though.

One more thing before I get to the news: If you are not following us on Twitter, I would recommend you do so. Lots of great info is being shared there by genealogy experts from across the world (stuff that you’re not seeing if you are only following us on Facebook or reading our blog).

Additionally, we will no longer be updating our Facebook page with tweets. As I’ve been learning, the two platforms are truly apples and oranges. Twitter will be a more ‘real-time’ resource — with a lot more conversational tone and a steadier stream of updates — while Facebook will include more substantial posts (but not as often).

You can find us at http://twitter.com/houstorypub

Tweet tweet.

Now the big news: We are very excited to announce that we will be attending our first two trade shows in March. The first one will be in Williamsburg, Va., at the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show and Conference (March 4-6). It should be a lot of fun, as relatively very few people have had a chance to see our books in-person. My wife Tasi will be joining me for that trip.

The following weekend, Mike and I shall be in Philadelphia at the Historic Home Show, sponsored by Old House Media Group. That show runs from March 10-11. If you are in the area, or know anyone who would like to see our offerings, please stop on by.

We have several more trade shows to attend throughout the year, so we will keep you guys aware of things. Well, thanks for reading, and hope ya’ll have a great week! (See, I’m becoming more and more Texan every day.)

Goonies Never Say Die: Houstory Publishing visits Oregon Coast B&Bs

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving last week. Houstory has been busy the past few days in Oregon. Saw lots of great B&Bs, and met a ton of very nice folks. Here’s a shot from the beach in Pacific City, Ore.

If it looks familiar, it should: it’s Haystack Rock (see: “The Goonies.”) There are actually two Haystack Rocks along the Oregon coast: one at Cannon Beach and a slightly less famous one at Pacific City.

The “Goonies” scenes were actually shot in front of the Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, but you get the idea.

According to a BeachConnection.net article, the Pacific City rock is pretty darn big.

“The rock has an estimated height of 340.6 feet (103.8 m) as determined from Lidar data collected by our agency last year,” said Jonathan Allan, Coastal Geomorphologist and Coastal Section Team Leader with Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, in their Newport office.

Yeah, that’s a big rock. If you’ve never been to the Oregon Coast, make it happen and go.

Goonies never say die.


Why research your house history?

Before everything else, house history research (or home genealogy) is meant to be fun. For most people, learning about who lived in their home is a pretty fascinating thing. What renovations were made? What did they do for a living? When was the home built?

Today’s stories are tomorrow’s histories.









Additionally, capturing the story of who is living in your home now and what they are doing – that will prove to be a fascinating read for someone just 10 or 20 years in the future. The bottom line: start recording your home history today — before the stories you carry with you are lost.

After all, today’s stories are tomorrow’s histories.

For more information on what kinds of stories to include in your home history research, try visiting the Houstory house history research and preservation pages.

Now – other reasons to research your home’s history…

Increases property value: According to The National Trust for Historic Preservation, preservation is a vital economic development tool. Historic preservation helps maintain – and in many cases increases – property values. The Home History Book™ archival journal was specifically designed to enable this preservation process. Using your Home History Book archival journal today can benefit you financially tomorrow.

Save the stories, preserve the worth: Typically, the more you know about something (like a home), the more apt you are to take care of it.

Heritage tourism benefits: Visitors spend billions of dollars visiting historic sites and cultural attractions, according to The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). According to the ACHP, visitors to these places stay longer and spend more money than other kinds of tourists. A Home History Book archival journal is a living time capsule focused on sharing cultural and historic facts with its users and highlighting your property’s worth as an historic and cultural landmark.

Characters and lifestyles: Learn about people of differing time periods in their various roles, and how they relate to your own story.

Community connection: Discover the history of your city and community and how the areas were settled.

Evolution of a building’s purpose: Research into your home’s history can also help uncover clues that aid future construction considerations for your property and identifying unique construction features.

Lend your community a helping hand: Help your local municipality to participate in surveys and conduct inventories of buildings in the area, possibly for historical recognition with organizations such as the National Register of Historic Places.

Expert status as a home historian: Gather enough information, and you can provide a valuable history lesson in the form of a tour, book, blog, podcast, school project, Web site, magazine article, or donation of museum artifacts — the possibilities are numerous.

Inspire historical awareness: A compilation of historical data can inspire change and preservation in a community.

Protect the environment: Documentation of the landscape is crucial to owners interested in protecting property by donating a scenic easement.

For more information, please visit http://www.homehistorybook.com.

If you love your home and you love history, you’re at the right place

Welcome to the first edition of The Houstorian’s Hearth blog, and thanks for visiting.

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: This may be the only posting for a little while, as we are not quite ready to poke our heads out of the door on a regular basis just yet.  But, soon enough, we will be regularly updating it with information on all things home genealogy, including but not limited to: historical preservation (specifically regarding property and documents), historical home real estate listings, home genealogy conferences, contests, events, scrap booking, book binding, the latest in home history research information and technology, renovation and construction practices as related to home genealogy…you get the picture.

Please check back soon!