Personal Histories

photograph of Carver, date unknown

We got a surprise visit this week from one of our home's former occupants. A pickup truck pulled into our driveway while Jenna was making dinner and out stepped a barrel-chested man with tattoos up and down his arms. He introduced himself as Larry Berger, told us that he used to live here with his parents, and would we mind if he looked around a bit? Sure, I said, come on in!

So he came in with his daughter and his friend. They walked through the house and he told us stories. "Here's where we had an open stove." "These stairs are just as steep as I remember!" "This was my bedroom, that one was my sister's." "Bathroom looks the same... except the sink was over here, and there was no laundry."

Outside we learned more about what the property used to include. "It was ten acres when we lived here," Larry said. "The pasture was down where that apartment building is now, and the horse barn was up there. My dad's horse was buried right in that spot. That deck wasn't here. And that's the old chicken coop. I wanted to build an apartment in there, but my mother said it was too dirty, I would get sick."

He shared information about his life without being prompted. He left home in the 70's to join the Army. He came back afterwards but didn't get along well with his father, so he left again. And he told us a story from his childhood about keeping alligators in a washtub in the basement, which his mom discovered while she was doing laundry.

We love this home for its history so I am eager to learn everything I can about the land, the buildings, and former occupants. The most interesting tidbit was when he mentioned that they moved in during the early 1960's and the house was already one hundred years old. That would mean the house was not built in 1900--as the MLS listing indicated--but rather c. 1860! (It's possible; Carver was a bustling frontier town by 1855.) Clearly, it's time for some detective work.

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