Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fred and Pearl

I haven't had the easiest time in my quest to find out more about the people that lived in this home before me.

There's been little bits and pieces found here and there, but nothing concrete.

And in fact, my previously found information might not even be true, due to a mix up of the area.

Of course, I'd done a lot of research and I knew a few names, but there was a change of address when they put more houses on my street and the historical society here only keeps records past the 1970s, unless you live in the historical district.

Of which I only live one street over.

Funny, my house is older than some of the ones they keep records on.

But because of location... ugh.

Have you ever heard of such a thing?

So frustrating!

I worked backwards from the people I bought the house from and this is what I came up with...

The Morses'

The McShanes'

Faye Gibbs Bagby

Fred Gibbs.

Some of the information on that piece of paper came later.

Let me explain.

It all started one day, out in the backyard with the dogs, and came across a little brown bottle.

That lead to a little digging expedition, which uprooted a lot of broken glass and a few more bottles.

Turns out that there was an old burn pile.

Of course then I was intrigued and went to town for hours pulling up bottle after bottle... 

All from between the 1940s to the 1950s.

Including odds and ends like Christmas bulbs, a regular lightbulb from the 1940s, a pull from a filing cabinet, an old oil can and lots of toothpaste tubes.

From all that digging, I found out that Fred drank whiskey and beer on occasion, that Pearl knew how to sew, that they celebrated Christmas, that someone like to draw with ink, that they used a lot of bleach and brushed their teeth a lot, that Fred could work on cars, that children lived here and so much more.

Then, the information I'd been looking for popped up out of the dirt.


A gas card with Fred's name from the 1950s.

Proof for a better idea on the time frame that they lived here.

Sunnyslope is the name of the development on which I live and the name matched the information I found at the recorders office.

I didn't notice the information below in the green square that says 'est of Pearl Gibbs to Faye Bagby' until I uploaded this picture.

I found Pearl's name via a search on the internet for her husband and happened upon this...

Pearl Gibbs 1894-1970

She's buried with her son John and her daughter Faye, the one she left this house to.

I also found all sorts of information on her husband Fred Gibbs, b. 1892 d.1987, including a picture of him on a passport from 1920.

He was well traveled being in the military during and after WWI.

I found the picture below in the root cellar about a year ago and now I'm wondering if the man in it could also be Fred.

Later, he was an important miner in this area and there's all sorts of articles and documents about his pursuits, including one with the old address for this house.

Via the 1940 census and these papers, I figured out that he lived at a previous address a few months prior, that happens to be across town. So, I've surmised that he and Pearl bought this house in 1942 and lived here until 1970 when Pearl left the house to her daughter or the 1980s when Fred died.

After that Faye Gibbs Bagby owned the house and she or her family sold it to the Marshals' in 2001 or they listed it and sold it to the Morses' then. I can't be sure at this point.

She died in 2005.

By some miracle and using the old address, I found a picture of the house when it was for sale at that time.

It looks a lot different, doesn't it?

For one thing, I noticed that it had more bushes in front.

A LOT more.

For another, I noticed the windows had already been replaced back then, so I can no longer blame the previous owner that I bought it from for that travesty.

Also, the listing says there's a 3 car garage on the property, which I can't find evidence of, so it must have been on the land that was sold off before I bought it. Not to mention that it lists a dark room somewhere in this house, which I also can't find evidence of.

The most fascinating thing, to me at least, is that I know who put that wallpaper in the bathroom and I hope that Pearl is happy that I found it underneath all that drywall.

More about that project soon ;)

Fred and Pearl.

I think they loved this house as much as I do and I'm so happy that I get to be the one to care for it now, as they did back then.