This two-story Queen Anne started life around 1890. To give that number perspective, Houston was 21 years old. The Civil War of the United States was only 25 years into history. To know that survivors of the War Between the States walked in this house can really tie us to our history, if we’re listening.

Betty and Fred KaufholdThe home was the swan song for Betty and Frederick Kaufhold, who built a dairy farm “way out in the country” from downtown Houston, early protesters against Houston’s “rapidly rising taxes”. (Today it stands in the middle of Houston’s Museum and Arts District, also called “The Montrose”; the world renown Texas Medical Center and Houston’s skyscrapers are a scant mile away.)

The Big Next circa 1900That’s Aunt Bertie in the window upstairs. The photo is around 1900. Betty and Fred had three daughters, all of whom were concerned about the move so far out into the country,  fearful that they may never have another date.   (The nearest mule trolley stopped at what is now about 20 city blocks away). Their worries were not realized . . . every time a daughter married, Fred and Betty built a house next door for them. (In fact, the house was pivoted east in the teens — by mule teams — to make room for the last daughter’s house). The daughters’ dowries are still standing. Betty was president of her bridge club. Fred had been a building contractor in downtown Houston. In addition to dairy farming, we know Fred built scaffolding for the poor souls who were hanged for their misdeeds or misfortune (pre DNA). The tree from which they met their Maker still stands in downtown Houston.

Chickens, horses, fresh well water, yummm. The horse’s name was Babe. The man and woman are daughter Fredrika and Her husband, Don.

It’s still a comfortable house with comfortable people, and all the spirits are friendly.