Chesterton Tribune

House History at Historical Society meeting

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With a detailed "House History" of her own house, Jessie Affelder, head reference librarian at Thomas Library, led members and guests of the Duneland Historical Society through the steps to writing their own house history at the February 15 meeting at the Library Service Center.

A house history project can answer questions such as How old is the house?, Who built it?, Who has lived in it?, What did it originally look like?, Who originally owned the land?

She encouraged every homeowner to keep a record of work done and told how to research the past. Pictures, maps, deeds, abstracts, building permits, blueprints, talks with neighbors, newspaper items, city directories and tax records are all ways mentioned to find out who lived in a house and to trace remodeling projects and other changes.

In 1998 Affelder bought the former John and Eleanor Read home and she began her search for the "genealogy" of the house. She found that the property, while considered part of Morgan Park is actually part of a subdivision called Jeffmor, named for Charles Jeffrey and Edward Morgan.

During her program, she learned that Howard Johnson worked on the construction of her house in the 1930s and he provided more details for her house history.

The society, represented by Alfred Nelson, honored Jane Walsh-Brown with a gift for her service as president for four years. Martha Miller, who has moved to Florida, has been named an honorary member of the society for her contributions to the society, the library and the Westchester Township Museum. She joins Margaret Larson as the only honorary members.

The programs for the March 15 meeting will be the history of Porter presented by Pat Volkman.