When we first moved here, we kept meeting people who either used to live in this house or knew someone who did. In a town of 150-odd houses, and a house that is 115 or so years old, I guess that is to be expected.
The best we know, the house was built in about 1895. That was the date on newspapers found on the walls when some renovation was done on the house before we lived here. I need to go to the museum and do a little research to see if they know more. It consisted, originally, of two rooms. It probably had a porch. Standard achitecture for an average home of the day in this country. The original walls are solid plank boards. The living room and original bedrooms still have their wood floors.
We go to church with the people who lived here from 1968 through the 1980s. Carolyn brought me the picture, above, of the house when she first bought it. They later built onto it - first, what is now the laundry room, onto the South side (right side of the photo), where a side porch had been. Then, she and Gerald put in a larger addition onto the North side, adding a dining room, small office, bedroom and new bath (left side of the photo).
We also know someone who lived here during World War II. Rita's family lived in this house when they first moved to Blanket from a farm. It was in 1942, and her father had gotten a job building Camp Bowie in Brownwood. There weren't enough houses and this was the closest he could find to his work. She said she was in high school and did not want to move away from Comanche! She met her future husband while at school in Blanket, and the town became her home.
There were, at the time, only 4 rooms in the house (5 if you count the bathroom). The kitchen, bath and second bedroom had been a separate building that had been moved in and joined to the back of the original house.
Rita said that, due to the housing shortage, her family rented out one of the two bedrooms to a soldier stationed at Camp Bowie and his wife. She said the wife would come out and use the kitchen during odd times and it worked out fine, albeit a bit crowded!
Rita told me they had always used kerosene lamps at the farm and this house had electricity. Her mother hurried to get the power turned on before her father arrived home from work the first day. She said as it got dark, he went to light a lamp and her mother reached up and pulled the string to turn on the single bulb that hung from the kitchen ceiling! What a surprise! It was the first time the family had ever had electric power.
I used to wonder why Mema and Nandy would sit in the twilight of evening until it was very dark before turning the lights on. Now I realize it was because they grew up without electricity, and were accustomed to conserving lamp fuel by not lighting the lamps until it was too dark to see without them.