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The Old Aldrich Home on Oak Street in West De Pere, Wisconsin

The above picture appears to have been taken in the early spring of the year.  The trees seem to be leafing out a bit but there is still snow on the wood pile on the left.  The home was small and simple, but it served their purposes.  There were two rooms downstairs.  The small front room had the organ in the place of honor among the chairs and other furniture that a small sitting room might hold.  The little stove that provided all the heat for the house sat at the back wall of the front room.  There was a grate in the ceiling above it to allow the heat to rise upstairs when it was opened at night.  The kitchen, with Esther’s tiny cook stove that she baked her wonderful biscuits in, was in the back of the house.  From the front door, you could either open a door to the right and go into the front sitting room or you could go directly up the stairwell from the front door to the upstairs bedrooms.  The stairwell opened into a large bedroom at the back of the house and you could walk into the smaller front bedroom from there.  There was no wasted space for hallways.  There was a small closet over the front part of the stairwell which serviced the front bedroom.  There was no closet in the back bedroom.  Their old pump stands at the back of the house in front of a storage shed.  There was no indoor plumbing in those days.  The out-house isn’t seen in this picture, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it was plenty cold when you dropped your drawers to use the “necessary” on a cold Wisconsin winter night.  Here, Esther is standing on the door’s threshold with her crisp, white apron over her usual dark dress while her children, Ada Camila Aldrich (so prim and proper) and Charles Wilbur (Bert) Aldrich both stand on the porch.  Notice that Esther is standing at least six or eight inches higher than the porch and she’s still shorter than Ada.  She was a teeny-tiny little woman but she was a dynamo just the same.  Bert was about five feet eight-or-nine inches tall as an adult so this gives us a good standard for judging their height.

The Old Aldrich Home

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