By Dan Hiestand, Houstory Marketing Guy
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As a kid, I remember we’d often go to my grandparent’s house on Lopez Island in Washington state. It was a magical place. Sometimes, to save money, we’d leave our car and go on foot. When we arrived at the ferry landing after an hourlong ferry ride from the mainland, my grandparents — who lived about 20 minutes away on the shores of Fisherman’s Bay — would be there to pick us up, and off we’d go.
Photo courtesy of The Jewish Daily Forward
My grandfather was a fantastic driver and wasn’t afraid to whip around the winding corners of the island in a spurt of Volkswagen Rabbit-powered speed. Along the way, not far from the landing, I remember an old, wooden, graying house rotting in a vacant, grassy field.
Because of its state of disrepair and isolated location, it was a property that inspired conversation that often was saturated with ghosts, dead bodies and terror of all kinds. I don’t know if that house is still there (as of eight years ago, it was), but I will always regret not peering inside to seek out clues as to what stories it held.
This week, one of our stories — a radio show called “House on Loon Lake” by This American Life — features the story of kids who did go into “that house.” Not only is the house history revealed, but also the stories of the former residents — as relayed through abandoned family heirlooms.
This month’s Herd also includes a number of stories from the United Kingdom, some tragic and some that make you cringe.
Finally, make sure to check out the Jewish Daily Forward article that traced the stories behind 15 truly interesting family heirlooms.
On that note, we challenge you to consider if you are saving these stories for the future. After all, legacy is not about you. It’s about who comes after. Because if you don’t, who will? Am I right or am I right?
Ned Ryerson, Groundhog Day (:55 seconds): “Am I right or am I right? Or am I right? Am I right?”
What is “The Hearth Herd.” It’s simply a roundup (hence the name “Herd”) of a few stories we’ve seen in the recent past that our fellow Houstorians would likely be interested in. The Herd’s content will be confined to three main categories: 1) House and property history; 2) Family heirlooms; 3) Environmental sustainability issues. Basically, the things you’ve come to expect when you visit our blog.
This is where you come in: If you see stories you think would make our monthly collection, please shoot me an e-mail to info (at) houstory (dot) com, say hello on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet.
Author: Mail Online (UK)
Title: “Land a D-Day home: Historic houses are being sold on the strength of their wartime connections“
Herd-Worthy Because: Where do you fall? Do war stories sell properties? This article seems to hit folks the wrong way. What do you think?
Author: PreservationNation Blog
Title: “Milk Bottle Buildings of Southeast Massachusetts“
Herd-Worthy Because: Oddly shaped buildings of yesteryear combined with dairy product culture…what’s not to like?
Author: Nick Barratt
Title: “How to research the history of your home (UK)”
Herd-Worthy Because: Great tips from a well-known house historian on the other side of the pond from Houstory.
Author: This American Life
Title: “House on Loon Lake“
Extra: For photos, visit this Flickr Page!
Herd-Worthy Because: One of my favorite TAL episodes that was recently re-aired. How can it not be with quotes like this? “I was 13 years old and I had a crush on a house.”
Author: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Title: “New exhibit – The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home“
Herd-Worthy Because: This could have been in either the family heirloom section, or the house history section. Either way, it belongs.
Author: Green Building Press
Title: “Historic house cuts energy consumption by 90 percent“
Herd-Worthy Because: Older doesn’t have to mean inefficient.
Author: Associated Press
Title: “Heirlooms’ value shifts from sentiment to cash“
Herd-Worthy Because: Folks just aren’t holding on to family heirlooms the way they used to. Do you agree?
Author: Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.)
Title: “Basement treasure needs a home“
Herd-Worthy Because: I just thought it was kinds of a cool classified section advertisement found within the confines of the newspaper. I wonder if anyone ever acted on it?
Author: Newcastle Herald (AUS)
Title: “Keepsakes for lost babies“
Herd-Worthy Because: A touching, gentle reminder of young lives lost.
Author: The Jewish Daily Forward
Title: “The Things We Carried – The Heirlooms That Tell Our Stories“
Herd-Worthy Because: Family heirlooms. 15 stories. Soup spoons, candlesticks and Torrah Scrolls…
Until we herd again…