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In 1924, the Portland Assessors Department took photos of every residential property in the city. Alongside the photos there were notes taken of many details of the dwellings. I went to City Hall today to look up the record for 58 Turner Street and it revealed some unexpected info and this amazing photograph!

Two Cats in the Yard c. 1924.

Two Cats in the Yard c. 1924.

Equally amazing to us are the giant bay window (long gone, but whose footprint still defines the living room wall) and the huge shed dormer on the roof! Did someone live up there? As to what other interesting details we found:

1. The property had two addresses: one for each front door. The door in the picture with the ornate overhang (to the left) [Ed note: Does anyone know the architectural term for this?] was #58 and the other door (now smack in the middle of the kitchen/dining room) was #60 Turner street. Given that each side had a stairway to the second floor, we are now officially assuming that this was a duplex or apartment house of some kind.

2. When we first saw the house, we knew there must have been a third window upstairs, to the left of Sadie’s two windows. During demo, we found evidence of one, but here it is, clearly pictured (above the #60 door)!

3. The house had shutters! And the guess we made with our window lights (2-over-1) was pretty close! In this picture the house has 2-over-2 glass. (Glad we didn’t go with 6-over-1 or 6-over-6).

4. Again, the theory that we might have a foot or two of land rears its head. If you look at this sketch on the back of the page, you see a tiny strip of land on the side of the house:

See that strip on the right-hand side? Do we or do we not have more land?!

See that strip on the right-hand side? Do we or do we not have more land?!

4. The house was assessed at $1,330, and listed as being in “Fair” condition, even at only 50 years old.

5. The owner in 1924 was Nicholas Peterson (my first name), the census taker’s name was Johnson (my last name) and the date of survey was April 15th (my sister’s birthday). Another owner at one time had the last name of Blaisdell (the street I grew up on in Minneapolis).

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