Ohio Catherine’s entry in our Found Objects Found Art contest.
This is how I ended up living here at 47 Beechwood Drive and how I came to inherit my “Found Object… Found Art”. My mother and her fiance bought the house we live in sometime in 2000. Shortly after she moved in, I came to visit her at her new home. I remember it having such a great feeling and thinking it being everything I would ever want in a home. While I was staying with her, my mother showed me a picture of a woman who was the previous owner of the house. Her name was Hildegard. When Hildie (as we affectionately refer to her) passed on there were pictures left behind by her family. When I saw these pictures, I instantly felt a connection to her. This strong feeling surrounding this house and her presence that seemed to linger all came together.
As the years went by, I met my husband and we went from a one bedroom apartment to buying our first home (a 1952 cape cod). It was in this home that I started to become aware of my attraction to mid-century style and vintage items. Its kitchen had the original 50’s stove and I just loved it! But this house was not in the best location (it was a little rough) so we made a decision to move before our oldest daughter was to start school. As fortune would have it, this was about the same time my mom had decided to buy a house in the same town as her business so that she would not have to commute any longer. The 1948 ranch house on 47 Beechwood was meant to be mine! My husband and I bought it and luckily we were able to sell our starter home right before the housing market declined.
After we moved in, it was in the basement where I came across my nearly 60 year old found object. Hildegard’s guestbook from when she and her husband moved in was on a dusty shelf in the corner. The first entry is dated Nov. 19, 1951 from what appears to be their house warming. The entries by the guests read “A friendly home in the country”, “A lovely place we’ll want to visit again and again.” and “Your place is like heaven.” There are many other occasions during which this guestbook was written in. “Wedding Guests”, “Ruthie’s Birthday”, church gatherings and assorted other dinner parties. All of whom commented on what a wonderful house this is to visit. The last entries, from grandchildren in 1984, read “Vacation’s great at Oma’s house” and “You’re the best Grandmother. I love to visit you.”
I love to sit and read the entries again and again imagining what it was like to be at each social event. I cherish this little book as a historical piece of this house and the memories held within. It really is one of my most prized possessions.