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Homeowner Fantasy: Living in a Historic House


Dear Homeownership Diary,
Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about what it would be like to live in a grand, historic home somewhere on the East Coast.

Of course, such estates can be found throughout the country. I zone in on this region, New England in particular, because people have lived there since the 1600s or so. Whereas in Minnesota, which became a state in 1858, it’s unlikely there’d be homes much older than that here.

Additionally, I’m coming off an in-home viewing of Hocus Pocus and the intrigue I feel that surrounds Salem, Mass. is helping pull this to the forefront.

Our home was built in 1993. And while I can joke that the aesthetics are a bit of a time machine, I lived through the 90s decade. Trends and such are cyclical and I laugh as many of my childhood fashion choices have come back in style, but I don’t find 1993 interior design concepts to be very aspirational. Nick and I do have plans to add our personal touches.

Here, we’re not going to be in awe of the intricate hardware and hinges. There are no detailed carvings in the woodwork. I’m not going to find old deeds, photographs or trinkets from 100 years ago in the walls or under the floor boards. And I’m most certainly not going to wonder if my home’s servants' quarters are haunted. The historical society isn’t going to have a treasure trove of documentation on my home – the surrounding land, maybe, but we are only the second owner of this place.


... To be situated within such a home around Halloween, when New England’s infamous fall foliage erupts with color? I cannot think of a scene more cozy to enjoy as I sip my hot coffee.

I like to imagine the stories a historic home would tell me as we fix it up. 

It’d be expensive, I’m positive.

That seems to be the common theme of bloggers who are in the midst of such experiences.

But then I read entire posts dedicated to finding the carving of a name they've traced to the 1910 Census, a child, and laughed at such a lasting piece of evidence of their naughty defiance.

Or the discovery of an artifact, like old medicine bottles, that kicked off a month long research project to learn their home once belonged to a local doctor and half the town's population was born there.

Or the home was on the Underground Railroad, as proven by the unveiling of a secret room and passageway.

Now it should go without saying that I'm very happy we chose this estate for our lives to happen. But in the stillness, I cannot help but let my mind wander to the possibilities.

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