Sunday, October 6, 2013


Perhaps fueled by the season, or by a recent Apartment Therapy post, or by my recent (re)foray into the world of Scully and Mulder*, I went on a (very short) journey to find out who used to live in my house.

In case you haven't been to my South Philly house, it's this big old victorian on Broad Street - now cut up into four apartments. It's cool to think about when it was a single family home, and who lived here, and what was life on Broad Street like.  (I also like thinking about how all people who have lived here in the past hundred(+) years have probably had New Year's Day parties because of the prime location for the Mummer's parade.)

Anyway, thanks to the recent(?) digitalization of the 1940 census, it's fairly easy to get a little info on who lived here (or anywhere) that year. In this case, Mary and Christine Hehl, single ladies, college grads (!) who apparently never married (or had jobs).  WHAT DID THE TWO OF THEM DO IN THIS GIANT HOUSE!  As a single, underemployed girl myself, I feel pretty connected to them.  Did they too spend afternoons getting coffee on Passyunk?

Did a little backtracking, and these girls always lived in this house, so far as I can tell.  At this (1940) point, they're in their late sixties.  So the next question is, what happened to Mom (also "Mary Christine") and German transplant Dad?  Died.  In the house!  Spooky!

This is what I do now.  (The hardest part is always reading the cursive.)

*I'm not totally sure how Scully and Mulder fit in, but I think they do.  I watch it and am inspired to research things and come to goofier conclusions than normal.

1 comment:

bitteramanda said...

Can you write a new blog entry? Can it have archival documents in it like this one?