Our First House – 1961 – A Journal Memory

4108 Maple-1961

Throughout the years while I was raising my four kids (beginning in 1954), I kept a journal where I periodically made notes about holidays, school, vacations, etc.  As an occasion arises where I think one of my journal entries would be pertinent, I’m going to post it just as I wrote or typed it back in the day (except for an explanatory note or correction of a typo).  

In 1952, when my husband and I returned home from his brief stint in the Navy, my parents offered to let us rent the upstairs portion of their two-family house at the rate of $12/month (cheap, even in 1952).  By 1961, I had 3 children who were 6, 4 and 10 months – we had outgrown the apartment and were looking for an affordable house that was big enough to accommodate our growing family.  While the oldest girl was in school, I had been on numerous outings with the real estate agent, grasping the four-year-old by one hand and carrying a very heavy baby in a snowsuit on one hip.  Nothing we had seen was right for us.  Then, one February Saturday morning, an ad in the paper caught my eye – and we were on our way to our home on Maple Drive in the Oakley suburb of Cincinnati.

The picture and the following description are from the 1961 real estate flyer.  (Click on picture to enlarge.)

4108 Maple-1961-B

“If all goes well with the building and loan, I think we have finally started to buy our own home.  On a rainy Saturday morning, I looked through the ‘House for Sale’ ads quickly and suddenly ‘Oakley – $11,250’ leaped at me from the page.  I could hardly wait to call the real estate office, and was even more excited when I heard it described.  It was in a driving rainstorm that Frank, the three kids and I turned onto Maple Drive.  At once, I felt it was too good to be true – such a pretty, quiet, dead-end street, with well-kept homes.  Then we saw the number 4108.  ‘Oh, it’s a shingle!’ Frank said disgustedly, but then we noticed the shingle was only a small amount of trim on the gable and the rest was gleaming white frame.  There was a nice lawn in front and some short pine-like bushes close to the house.  Cement steps led up to a large front porch and on the small second-floor windows were green and white aluminum awnings.  A driveway at the side led to a two-car garage and in back was a small fenced yard, with more property going over the hill.

L. – February 26, 1961″

My parents had been so good to us and I hated to leave, but we needed more room and to have a house with a nice yard for the kids was just a dream come true.  We added another baby girl in 1970 and lived there for 21 years.

maple and lr curtains_0001

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

8 thoughts on “Our First House – 1961 – A Journal Memory”

  1. What a great house! It looks like one in my hometown that sat up very stately on a hill. I bet you all had some wonderful times in those 20 years. Although, I must say, the scenery outside your kitchen bay window now is some of the prettiest I’ve seen! 🙂

  2. What a great house. I especially like the front porch. It must have been so hard to leave after all that time in the same neighborhood.

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