Friday, August 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Grandparents' House

My Forgey grandparents purchased the family home and 2 acres of property in about 1939. It was located at 248 4th avenue in La Puente, California (by the way another unrelated Forgey family lived on 4th Street in the same town, which led to confusion with their mail lol). My grandfather Charles Forgey, as stated in the 1930 Census, worked as a carpenter after leaving the Marines. He built the first family home in La Cresenta, California. The family lost that house during the Depression. They rented homes in Glendale California until they saved enough to buy a home and some property. My grandfather used his carpentry skills to fix up the little old farmhouse they bought. He added two rooms on basically by himself; but hired an electrician for the wiring.
By the time I was born in 1963 my grandparents had been living in that house about 24 years; and the house was filled with mementos and memories. My grandfather was born and raised on a farm in Indiana and had a green thumb. The family had a little truck style farm there on 4th avenue for many years. They also kept some small livestock such as chickens and goats. I fondly recall the fruit trees my grandfather planted on the property. I remember visiting there in the Summer and eating tons of mulberries, plums and apricots. The fruit was delicious and much tastier than you can find in the supermarket.
I remember the old timey kitchen with it's red checked curtains and old concrete or granite counter tops.The family always ate at the antique oak table in the kitchen.  My grandmother,Graciela, was a great cook and loved to cook; so spent many hours in that kitchen. She also loved people too, and invited many friends over for meals.
I also recall  the old bathroom with it's old fixtures.The one bathroom was fairly roomy for a small house with a large claw foot tub.
My grandfather was a hunter and fisherman. He devoted a whole room to memorabilia connected with these pursuits. He hung animal heads on the walls and stuffed birds.  I also remember his gun cabinet. I would sometimes take a nap in that room when I was a baby lol.
Something that really stands out in my mind when I think of the house is all of the family pictures my grandmother loved to display. I was told that my grandparents had a picture of their baby daughter Isis Forgey taken after she died. I was a little afraid of coming upon that picture. I don't think they ever displayed that one? Most of the pictures were of the many grandchildren. I loved seeing my own picture which was one of the largest on display. My father would always say who is that monkey on the wall :).
My Picture from my Grandparents house

Another prominent picture in the house that fascinated me was a picture of my great-grandmother Isis Forgey which hung in the living room. I always admired it. Just a couple of weeks ago one of my cousins was cleaning out her garage and found the large framed picture. She asked if I wanted it which of course I did and I am thrilled to have it. 
The house remained in the family until about 1978. When the property was sold the house was torn down. At least I still have the pictures and fond memories.

My Great-Grandmother's picture (Isis Browning-Forgey) from my grandparents' house

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