Wanna Meet My Vanished Neighbor?

Today I woke to an email from young Brian.

He found an image of my long long long lost neighbor, directly across the street to the west.

The historical society has no images of the house so it has been something of a mystery.


I did have old Sanborn maps showing the house. It was listed as 523 Union (top). Sixth Avenue is to the left. There was a L-shaped front porch, a side porch, and a square bay facing Union. The Cross House is across the street, top.


This is what Brian found! Over to the right are the tell-tale columns of the Plumb House (extant), so 523 Union would be to the left! You cannot see much…


…but you can see a little something. And a little something is a LOT better than nothing. The trees in the foreground would be on the Cross House lot. Combined with the information from the Sanborn map, you can see the L-shaped porch, the square bay, and…not much else. Except the house looked rather simple.


Today (well, 2012) the Cross House is far left. 523 Union (just left of center) is half parking lot and half one-story 1970s bar. Sigh. And the tell-tale columns of the Plumb House are far right.


So, points for Brian!!!!!!!!


UPDATE: Mike wrote in, below, with THIS image! Looking in the opposite direction of Brian’s image! The Plumb House is to the far left. Next to it is another vanished neighbor. To the right is the house behind the Cross House; this is extant. Thanks, Mike!!!!!!!! (Click on images. They hugely enlarge.)




  1. Sandra Lee on July 12, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Yay Brian!

  2. Stewart McLean on July 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Do you have to put in the trees now? Can you identify what kind they are and their spacing? Damn it’s tough being a purist.

    • Ross on July 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Stewart!

      The previous owner planted three trees along the north side, between the sidewalk and the street. You can see one of them (tiny) in the 2012 image. The trees are MUCH larger now!

      • Stewart McLean on July 13, 2017 at 9:47 am

        But are the ones in place placed in the right spot, and are they the right type of tree? The postmark on the second postcard is 1910, that clearly indicates that trees of that size would have been there or planted when the house was built. I know that I am being detail oriented to the extreme. They were probably something like American elms, which would most likely have been lost to Dutch elm disease, and although beautiful, are still at risk from the disease today. I even am aware that you are not addressing the landscaping yet, so I should not say anything anyway. I just don’t think that I would remember when that time comes. Sorry.

  3. Mike on July 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Here is one from the other direction, but your house is just out of view on the right. The house behind you is visible though, through the trees at the edge of your yard…amazing what you can find with Google 🙂

    • Ross on July 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      Zounds, Mike! I updated the post to include the image.

      • Stewart McLean on July 13, 2017 at 9:37 am

        You use zounds quite a bit. I am interested in useless trivia. Have you heard, as have I, that it was a contraction of the old christian exclamation or vow, “by God’s wounds?”

        • Stewart McLean on July 13, 2017 at 9:48 am

          I like it when you use zounds, I am not trying to be critical of you verbiage.

  4. Gabi on July 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Is the Plumb House still a residence? Who was Plumb?

  5. Katie on July 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Ugh! These pictures are almost painful because it really makes you wonder how many pictures of the Cross house are just floating around out there. WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE TAKEN 5 STEPS BACK??

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