We Found a House. Now I’m Finding Stories.

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp
7 min readApr 30, 2019

Part I of chasing down the history of our new old home.

Photo Taken April 26, 2019

What can I say? It’s and unassuming brick box with a beautiful bay window and glass paneled door frame. I was instantly intrigued. It’s currently a two-family home but that was not its intention when it was built in 1926. Buildings, like people, reveal their pasts in pieces.

My husband and I were shopping for our new home when we found it. We’re moving back to the small Northern Kentucky community where I grew up. We visited the school and we participated in local events to check out the vibe to make sure this is where we wanted our three-year-old Ezra to grow up. It is. I have a few friends remaining in the community and I’m looking forward to being a part of it once again.

But this house. Hardwood floors throughout, a beautiful fireplace on the second floor, even the bricks of the building are textured and gorgeous, I loved all of it. The big lot with even bigger potential makes us eager to make it our own. But in the process of of making it our own I want to know and honor the property’s past somehow. I love an old house and my husband and I have rediscovered that we like home improvement projects. Both of us grew up in homes where our fathers undertook large projects. I remember wearing a work apron and learning to put screws in drywall. I was eight-years-old and trusted with a power tool. “Put a screw wherever I put an x on the drywall,” Dad had said.

Bonnie, Ezra, and Dad. Photo taken during inspection

We invited Dad to the home inspection. He stood in the front room and speculated on what the building could have been. “Maybe it was a bakery,” he said. He imagined the bay window being for displaying cakes and confections. Dad remembered that in the 1950s there was a deli next door in the adjacent lot. That lot is now a small street that holds three large newer homes.

The inspection was on April 26 and we are scheduled to close on June 3. Ezra and I left my dad and husband at the house with the inspector and headed over to the Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum to see what history we could find. Nothing. The woman working advised me…

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Bonnie is an award-winning syndicated columnist and opinion editor for The Louisville Courier Journal @WriterBonnie