My Grandparent's House
Isn't this a beautiful house? While trying to group all the photos I have of my grandparent's English Tudor style home, I found these two photos stuck together is a separate envelope. After looking at them, I think they may be the professional photos taken for the real estate agent to show to potential clients and the earliest photos of the house in my possession.
I began to research the name on the back of the photo and from a series of articles in the Rhode Island Roots magazines I have determined that Henry E. Stanley was a professional photographer located on Westminster St. in Providence. (RI Roots, December 2011, p. 223). Armed with this information and the date of 1920 for his studio, I turned to the 1920 census and found the family immediately living at the address of this house! I was quite surprised since I thought it might just be the name of the photographer.
After hours of comparing city directory and census records for my grandfather and this photographer, I have determined that Henry was living at another address in 1938. My grandparents are living in this house in the RI City Directory for Cranston in 1939. This leads me to believe that they moved here from a house up the street sometime in 1937 or early 1938. I know they lived here in September of 1938 because that's when the Great Hurricane happened and my mother was in downtown Providence driving home with her friend and told me she knew something was up because everyone was leaving Providence. My grandparents were already home when she arrived and my uncle put the car in the garage for her.
How could I find out when this house was built? It suddenly came to me that I could use the Cranston, RI Assessor's Web page to see if the date of this house was known. Yes! 1918. A lot of information about the house was given including who owns it today and a good photo of the house. I was very excited.
Judging from the growth of the trees and the vine on the side of the house, I think this photo was taken quite some time after Mr. Stanley built it, so my conclusion was quite accurate. The ownership history doesn't go back that far but the earliest name seems like a name I remember when my grandmother sold it and moved to an apartment.
This is the first house my grandparents owned. When my great grandfather died in 1937, my grandfather must have inherited half of his estate and had enough money to buy this house. I always wondered how they could afford such a house in The Great Depression.
When I can't sleep, I close my eyes and walk through this house. It always calms me down and remembering my grandparents, I drift off.
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