by Melissa Stewart
The house was built in 1916 as a farm house and is 500 square feet. It seems hard to believe the people that originally owned it farmed all the land around it. Especially since Denver seemed to grow into a big city all around the house.
The original footprint of the house was 413 square feet. The bedroom/ laundry room was an addition probably in the early 40’s sometime after my grandparents had their fourth child. The pantry was converted into a bathroom in the late 40’s and the house originally had an outhouse!
As far as I know, it only had 4 owners…seems every one that lived here loved the cozy feel. I remember coming over to Grandma’s to spend the night as a kid and we could hear the train speed right passed the house. The railroad tracks have been gone a long time now, but Denver built a light rail and my house is within walking distance to two different stations.
The sunburst on the gable is original to the house and students from the architecture college at the University of Denver would drop by and sketch it.
My grandparents rented it for more than 20 years before they bought it. I have lived here 10 years and love every minute of it. My grandmother lived here 70 years before she passed away in 2002. She and my grandfather raised their family of four kids in this house!
When I moved here, I downsized from large condo. It was REALLY hard the first year and I couldn’t wait until I could add on to the structure. But, after I got organized and learned the art of being happy with what I had, I wouldn’t dream of adding on. I took out some walls and opened up the space quite a bit and found some interesting “artifacts” when working on the remodel – glass bottles, old cloth wallpaper, old newspapers used for insulation, toy dinosaurs and numerous bricks stamped “HiFire.”
When I work in the garden, I am always digging up more interesting things. This summer, I kept finding old metal handles that looked to be from barn doors or perhaps old appliances. The challenging part of living in such a small home is storage space. I don’t have a closet and all my furniture doubles as storage. I was fortunate to have found OrWaDesigns on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/people/OrWaDesigns). They custom designed three wonderful pieces for me that provide TONS of storage and are perfect for my space.
This place is so special to me and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Everyone thinks I am crazy for living in such a small space – especially with 2 big dogs. But I am content, debt free, and extremely happy.
I scanned in and attached a couple more photos I had from several years ago. These were in my Granny’s photo book. Now, there are houses built all around me. It’s interesting to see the changes over the years.