The Long Way Home

Clues in the Crumbling Walls
January 16, 2011, 8:00 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , ,


Laura Vincent, the woman who renovated and owns the building that we live in, was kind enough to give me more history about the place. John and Mary Lingenfelser commissioned its construction in 1891 as a neighborhood grocery store, living upstairs while operating the store below. Later commercial occupants from the 1890s through the 1970s used it as a furniture store, a jewelry store, a restaurant, a children’s clothing store and a book and card shop. The sole residential occupants before us were the Fitzgerald sisters, Anna, a florist, and Mary, a dressmaker some time in the early 1900s. Now that I know a little about past residents, I’ve been looking for clues in the crumbling walls: seamstress notations written in pencil or horsehair peeking through constellations of paint.





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6 Comments so far
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I believe that John Lingenfelser was my great grandfather’s brother! His other brother Charles Lingenfelser was a pittsburgh artist who died at age 31 in 1886. The family did have a grocery store about that time. Please contact me to share. Would love to hear from Laura Vincent as well! Fred

Comment by Frederick Lingenfelser IV

Hello Cuz!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I lost your email when my computer went caput! I didn’t know anything about a grocery store! What’s that all about? Give a holler, huh? Sorry we haven’t communicated in a while. What is this about John and Mary? What a coincidence because Grandpa was married to Mary Nath. I don’t know about John and Mary, but wasn’t Great-Grandpa Charles married to Lena?

Comment by Lynda

Such a wonderful set of images. The textures and movements are charming and the poses are perfect. Great read too!

Comment by piper

Piper – thanks for stopping by and reading, it’s a nice surprise!

Comment by Lisa

It’s really about the walls, isn’t it. Everything fits (or at least stands unique) in this space, everything takes on an air of times past, stories untold.

Comment by eyegillian

It is in the walls – I’d love to see what other treasures they hide (besides the critter scampering somewhere behind them. I haven’t heard him lately in our bedroom, but I’m imagining he’s moved to another part of the house).

Comment by Lisa

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