Thursday, September 19, 2013

Those Places Thursday: 1717 Shearn, Houston, Texas, circa 1908-09

This house, originally at 1717 Shearn in Houston, Texas, was the one where my mother, Geraldine Guokas Pape, spent her early years.

The house was originally owned by her grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Sr. (1863-1939), starting in 1908-09.  That is the year the family is first listed in the Houston city directory at this address.  Previously, from 1899 through 1907, the family was listed as living at 1314 Railroad.

I believe this photograph was taken shortly after the family moved into the house.  In the enlargement below, you can clearly see 1717 above the door in two places.  My great-grandmother Elizabeth (Elžbieta) Banevich (Benevičiūtė) Guokas (1875-1929) is standing in the doorway.
The three children are my grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903-1967), and his younger sisters Eva (1907-1979) and Agnes "Aggie" Verna (1905-1974).

There's a tree that's been planted just in front, visible between the two little girls.

On the 1930 Census, my great-grandfather was still living in this house, along with his youngest son Roy Lee Guokas (1917-1959), my grandfather, my grandmother Sara Melzina Wolfe Guokas Archibald (1907-1997), and my one-year-old mother and her older brother, Charles Guokas III (1927-1999).

My mother's family lived in this house until June 1933, when they moved to Austin when my grandfather was appointed secretary to Governor Miriam Amanda Ferguson.  My great-grandfather continued to live in the house until his death in April, 1939.  The house was left to Roy who lived there until at least 1942. 

I drove by this address in April 2012, only to discover the house had been torn down, apparently (according to Google Maps) by July 2011.  The property (Lot 12, Block 299, Baker Addition) and the adjacent lot have recently been subdivided into single-family townhome lots for construction of three-story (plus rooftop terrace), three-bedroom, 3.5 bath homes selling for about $395,000.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

8 comments:

  1. What a great photo! I love that she is standing in the doorway. I wonder why she didn't come out on to the porch?

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    1. Not sure, Heather - maybe she did not like her outfit that day! I have a number of other photographs of her, and she's dressed rather elegantly in all of them.

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  2. What a treasure this photo is for your family! And what a beautiful home. It looks pretty large too. It's a shame the house has been torn down though. Do you know when it was built?

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    1. I don't know for sure, Jana. In 1910, my great-grandfather owned the home free and clear, but I don't know if he built it, had it built, or if someone lived in it previously. It does appear on a 1907 Sanborn map (and that's about when they moved in), but their block is not on the next earliest Sanborn map online, which is 1896.

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  3. Amanda,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/09/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-september_20.html

    Have a great weekend!

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  4. How wonderful for you to have this photograph. I love how you've enlarged sections of it to show us the detail. It's such a beautiful home with the upstairs porches and doors and that beautiful screen door behind which Elizabeth stands. Do you have other photographs of her? It almost looks like she's wearing glasses. And I love her little hat/bonnet/mobcap (not sure what to call it). I'm so sorry the house has been torn down. Thanks for sharing this treasure.

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    1. Nancy, thank you! I have posted other pictures of her in the past on this blog (search for Elizabeth Guokas using the search box at the upper right), and I will post another one tomorrow. She is not wearing glasses in any of the other photos I have, but it does look like there are reflections off glasses in this photo! Thanks for commenting!

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