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The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:44 pm
by melissakd
This is such an Old House 101 question, but I can't seem to put together a search to find what I want to know, so I started a whole thread just to ask:

How does a house get to be called "The Kimball-Shoaff House" instead of "XXX Berry Street" ?

DH has been thinking we could help ourselves sell our house if it had a cool-sounding name.

The evidence indicates that our house was built by Thaddeus W. Bayless, by the way.


Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:56 pm
by antiquehomestyle
I'd take my case to the city landmarks committee and give them a researched history of the house and the builder. It helps if the builder is some kind of notable person in the city's history or the house has some kind of notable person or event associated with it. I don't know how it works where you are, but in my city if you are willing to take the time to make your case and do the research, you can get it listed on the cultural resources inventory. Once you do that, you can get a nifty plaque and start marketing it. It's a harder sell as you go higher on the tree of historical or state preservation offices. There is an argument that can be made about any house though if you care enough.


Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:27 pm
by Danno
You can call it whatever you want. Original Builder, original owner, original architect are all ways to get a name. Other ways are just to go with the long time owners at any point in its history. My house was called "The Alston House" for years after the Wells Family bought it, THEN it was known as the "Wells House"; with some people saying "used to be called the Austin house" then it was just known as "Grandma Wells' House" and still is by some people. (when I get supplies from the local lumber yard he always writes "grandma wells house" under the delivery address.) If I live here for maybe 20 years people might call it by my name.

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:57 pm
by melissakd
Cool! I think we'll just start calling it that, and people will pick up the habit from us. I haven't thought about any kind of designation or registry for the house because the neighborhood already is a state, local and national district, and there's not really anything thrilling about it architecturally or in terms of people.

Let me run my case for T.W. Bayless by you. Of course my notes are at home, so I'll have to wing it.* Here's the chain of title:

Miami nation --> U.S. government --> William Rockhill, who platted the area --> Jacob Kamm purchases our lot for $450 and sells it to Thaddeus W. Bayless 6 months later, in July 1863, for $700. (Kamm was a local wheeler-dealer type who later served as postmaster)

Thaddeus Bayless dies without a will in January or February 1865. Our lot is directed by the probate court to be sold for "not less than the full assessed value," and about a year later it goes to Philip Harter for $2400. Going by the sale prices, the house must have appeared by then.

I know the Harters lived here. The city directory was biennial then, and the 1864 property tax records are missing, so I can't tell whether the Baylesses did. After the property was sold, Mrs. Bayless moved her three young children back East and remarried. I imagine that she and her husband built a spacious but not fancy house (which it was) for their growing family, and when he died almost as soon as their dream was realized, she just couldn't stay.

outta time for today

*Edited to correct dollar amounts.

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:34 pm
by Igloochic
Sorry honey...that's a cool name. I'm gonna use it :oP

(Mind you our registry is under the Frances Wilcox James House, but who's gonna check that?) I like Bayless cuz umm we sit above a bay but can't put our boat in it, so we're kind of bayless right? :P

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:06 pm
by dalmatiangirl61
For historical designation of residential properties, typically the first owners name is used, so the Thaddeus Bayless House would be correct, even if some person of greater significance owned it later, of course you will find exceptions, but thats what the historical commision guidelines state. Commercial properties are a bit different in that the building typically has a name from its beginning, the addition of an organization involved with the building is acceptable too eg "The McGill YMCA Clubhouse". Of course then there are suburbia rules, one of my friends lives in a neighborhood where every house is named after the previous owner, so after you die the neighborhood keeps your name going for 20-30 more years. Of course with the Clubhouse few of the locals know it by that name, most call it the "old LDS church", or the abandoned building :mrgreen: .
McGill Clubhouse

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:19 pm
by oldhouseluvr
Melissa - piggybacking on what dalmationgirl said, I think your name choice makes good sense. Our house got its name from a Historic Site Survey conducted by the county planning department app. 25 years ago. Our house was built by a general contractor as his primary residence, therefore, our house is known as the Willard T. Galbreath house. I like to use these names to refer to the local historic homes. I think it helps to establish what were formerly considered to be just old houses as historic properties in the minds of the local community. I would encourage you to name your house and use it when people ask you where you live or when you describe your house to others.

Is there any chance your state or county has ever done a similar survey? Found this on the net and although you've probably seen it before, thought I would go ahead and copy it anyway in case you haven't.
http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/digitalschola ... ions/IHSSI

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:46 pm
by Igloochic
Why do you never hear the "Bob" house? So much easier :mrgreen:

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:15 pm
by sundine2
Well you could be the first to be the "bob house" ...how is it different than the James house...lol

Re: The Thaddeus W. Bayless House

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:22 pm
by Josiecat
Mine is registered with Dept of the Interior as the 'William Wellcome' house who was the original owner.