Greetings from the Past

"It just occurs to me that there's a signature on that piece of wood," said Noel. And we both went back into the pantry to take a look.

And there it is. Rob't Holt. The architect who designed and built our house and lived here 132 years ago (the house is called the Robert M. Holt House in the city's historical records). He signed the house, and here we are looking at it.

Robert Holt's signature

Hi, Rob't. Thanks for making this fine house for us to mess around with.

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posted by ayse on 08/02/08


Neat! A voice from the past.

When my mom moved out of the house I grew up in, after 35 years, she wrote our names on a rafter in the basement with "We loved this house."

My current house has an inscription in the basement floor, "Hi Lois, June 30th, 1945." The house was already 50 years old by then.

Here's a picture:

I've attached my signature in some way to every place I've lived since I was in my teens. I usually picked the top of doors as they frequently are unpainted, raw wood and soak up ink readily. I'm a bit surprised at how often the tops of doors are not painted, given the five other sides are almost never unpainted.

I wonder if door tops end up unpainted because people tend to shave them down so sticking doors will fit again, then don't bother to repaint? Because if you buy a pre-painted door it will come with the top painted.

My old apartment was in a Victorian built in the 1880's. I found several such signatures, the most legible of which was from the plumber who replaced the hot water pipe to the tub in the bathroom in 1945. I took pictures whenever I found one. Glad I did, as the current owners gutted everything and the history has all been lost. I wonder if they'll have less luck selling it when the time comes. It looks Victorian on the outside but is completely modern on the inside. To me the whole point of an old house is the history, but I guess everyone has their own way of looking at it.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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