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.

303 W Plymouth - 2013
303 W Plymouth – 2013
303 W Plymouth - 2016
303 W Plymouth – 2016

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.

1898 - map
1898 – map
Bremen - 1886
1886 – map

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.

303 W Plymouth - 1877
303 W Plymouth – 1877
303 W Plymouth - 1872
303 W Plymouth – 1872

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.

Enquirer - Mar 13, 1886
Enquirer – Mar 13, 1886
Enquirer - Dec 17, 1887
Enquirer – Dec 17, 1887
Enquirer - Sep 11, 1913
Enquirer – Sep 11, 1913
Enquirer - Nov 14, 1963
Enquirer – Nov 14, 1963

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.