Dec 23, 2005

A Window To The Past

Once in a while, I look on eBay for things from my hometown of Hazleton, PA.  I recently came across this postcard from 1907.

I'm having a little trouble making out the handwriting on some of the words, but this looks to have been written by Tillie Gerhardt of Hazleton, PA to May Sinclair of Walkerton, Ontario to wish her a Merry Christmas after she returned home from her visit, and that she can't wait to see Miss Sinclair when she returns to school.

The return address written on the front of this postcard is North James Street in Hazleton, which is five blocks down from the Victorian homes in the photo.  They're on North Laurel Street, on the other side of Route 309, just before you get to the intersection of Laurel and Diamond Avenue.  Those houses are still standing today, and I can personally attest that they're still in excellent condition because this is my home.  Specifically, I live right here:

The arched window that the arrow is pointing to is in my living room.  We're renting the third floor of an old Victorian home that's been here for over 100 years.  The landlords are a lovely couple who live on the first floor, and they gave us a really great deal on the place with all utilities included.  They're both retired, but the husband still works part-time as a repairman, which is how we found out about this place.  My girlfriend's father has an old 50's jukebox in his kitchen that breaks down at least once or twice a year, and my landlord is the guy who comes over to fix it.

This is the other side of that window.  When you walk into the living room of our apartment, you'll see a door on the far wall.  It leads to a very small porch... a very, VERY small porch.  You can't even fit a chair in there.  If you go out there, you pretty much have to walk sideways with your arms at your sides, like you're a spy trying to sneak around a corner by flattening yourself against the wall behind you.  It would be a really great sitting area if it wasn't so narrow because the view is pretty nice.  This is what it looks like during the summer.

I wonder what it must have looked like to stare out of this window a hundred years ago.