Among the artifacts in the library’s collection is this 1890s photo of one of the Bremen fire brigades in front of a house identifiable as 303 W Plymouth St. The house has been renovated and remodeled recently, but an image from Google Street View shows that it even kept the old window detail for more than a century.
Click any image to view a larger version.
The house is across the street from Salem Church and once had a barn behind it, as shown on the 1898 map. In 1886, it had a simpler porch, prior to an expansion on the east side.
Indeed, it dates back beyond 1877, when it sat opposite the old wood-frame Salem Church, and is very likely the same house seen on the 1872 map, when it was owned by an M Foltz, albeit before two substantial additions. That makes it more than 144 years old.
The house is occupied by the Vanderkeeres now, but at one time it was owned by Dr J W Moody (rented by photographer J E Portmess), followed by John and Lena Heim, then William F Grose and family. His daughter Emma lived there from 1913 to her death in 1963. We even know the date of the addition to the east side: 1887.
This being October, one might be tempted to speculate on the ghosts that might haunt such an old residence, several of the residents in its 150-year history having breathed their last while under its roof… but not this author.
Note: Many of the firefighters in the 1890s photo are identified on its back. That list and the full photo can be found on our Flickr account.
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