People around here call my home the castle house.
I think it's funny, because it's only around 1800 square feet and hardly castle size, but I've been told that it's because of the turret.
Who am I to argue?
I get a lot of questions about my little cottage, from friends and strangers. I even catch people stopping to take pictures of it and sometimes, if I'm in the yard gardening, they'll stop and tell me how much they love it.
I always tell them I love it too, because I really do.
About four years ago, I was sitting in Ohio knowing that I was moving to Arizona and decided to look for an old house to love and not expecting much.
There was nothing down in Phoenix and besides, it was too hot for me there, so I decided to look into the Northern part where they have actual seasons and plant life.
You know... flowers and trees, instead of cactuses and sand.
And then one day, I came across this picture:
(Sorry for the blurriness, but it's the original off the listing)
It was love at first sight.
Of course, you've seen what she looks like today:
It took a lot of work to get rid of all those weeds and to make it so the grass wasn't spotty. I planted in the flowers beds too, but it's winter, so you can't really tell. Spring will be here pretty soon though ;)
So, as soon as I got unpacked and settled, I started to look things up about the house.
All I had to go on was the original deed, but I managed to find out quite a lot with just that.
It turns out that around 1929, a single woman named Margaret, a lawyer here in town, decided to build a house when she was in her early 40s (the same age as me when I bought the house!).
She had gone to college originally in California, but when school was out she stayed with her sister and brother in-law here in this town.
I was able to find a picture of her online.
She looks determined, doesn't she?
Well, I guess she was, since she used to go downtown to where the bars are and drag men out by the ear to get them to go to court.
I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that!
Anyway, she never married, but her sister's husband died and eventually her and her sister both lived in this house. At some point she decided to sell and move, but I can't seem to figure out why.
I know she loved the house, because I can still feel her here and I know it sounds odd, but I get the feeling she likes me living here and she feels protective over me. In fact, I don't know if any of you believe in this sort of thing, but one day when my honey was in the house alone, sitting in the breakfast nook, he felt someone tug hard on his ear and try to get him to leave. When I told him about the story of her dragging people out by the ear, it gave him the chills. I just told her to leave him be and she hasn't done it since.
Maybe it's our imagination and maybe it's not, but it makes me happy to believe she's my guardian :)
So, after that I started to try and find the original plans to the house and I couldn't find anything until about a year and a half ago. I was looking at Pinterest and saw this picture:
I couldn't believe my eyes!
Well, that got me started on another search to find out the builder and eventually I found out that the Searle house was designed by Arthur J Matot via Antique Home Style.
Now that I had that information, I began to search the internets to find his book of plans and six months later I found it on eBay. YAY!
I waited with baited breath for it to arrive and see if my house was in there and sure enough it was!
The only odd thing was that it was originally meant to be a duplex.
I guess she liked the front of the house so much, that she wanted it for a single home and I don't blame her. To me, it was the most charming house in the book.
I know it was never a duplex, because of the difference in the house design.
Here's my very rough plan drawn out of this house, upstairs:
The only plan I could find similar in the same book was this one:
She just added the room in front of the dining room, another bedroom between the kitchen and the bathroom and of course the downstairs.
I think she did a great job :)
So, that's the story of my house.
Maybe one day I'll find more about it, but right now, I'm just happy living in this beautiful home, knowing that it was built by such a great woman.