There's a house in my neighborhood that's been empty for years. It's funny how I can't say I even noticed it until it was empty. I drive by it almost everyday and wonder about who lived in it and it's fate. Until last week.
I made it my destination on my morning walk. With camera in hand, I walked around the block and took pictures from the outside of the cyclone fencing from every side.
I came to the front and spotted a parting in the fence, and as I stuck in my camera to get a few shots without any obstructions, a man working on a car at the auto mart next door piped up to let me know he was tired of chasing the homeless out of it. Aware of my grungy sweatpants and tee shirt, I quickly told him I was just trying to get some good pictures of this old house for my blog and asked him if he knew anything about it. Lucky me--he was the owner! He gave me a short history lesson which, combined with what I had already learned from researching the house, gleaned me these facts:
The house was built in 1870 on a stone foundation and occupied by Mr.Goodale who was an early Concord merchant.
Then Dr. and Mrs. George McKenzie made this their home sometime after his arrival in Concord in 1891. For many years Dr. McKenzie (and Dr. Francis Neff, Concord’s only other doctor), were the only doctors serving Concord and the surrounding area.
Mrs. McKenzie used to raise the flag at the house to signal to Dr. McKenzie (at work at the hospital about 400 yards away) that his lunch was ready.
There was a bicycle-powered windmill on the property that generated the electricity for his x-ray machine.
Mrs. and Dr. McKenzie both died in the house.
Then it was occupied by the Collins family, about whom little is known.
I asked would he minded if I went inside the fence and took some more pictures? He didn't so I did.
You must have really been something in your day, house.
I'm so sorry you've been neglected.
I'm so sad that the beauty you still have goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
I'm sorry your foundation is turning to rubble and your wood is decomposing into the earth.
I took some cuttings of the roses in the front and then squeezed back out through the fence posts.
I wish you could be saved, rehabilitated, resurrected, revived. But even though the owner wasn't at liberty to say what the future holds for you, he couldn't look me in the eye when he said the land had been sold to a developer in Washington.
You are the jewel in the crown of a city which loses a small amount of it's glint each time an old house is torn down.