ThatsMyOldHouse.com is a web site where such stories can be shared or searched. The site is looking for stories about all houses, whether historic or not. Quoting the web site:
Think of your childhood home... Did you have unforgettable slumber parties in the basement or maybe you learned to ride your bike on the sidewalk out front? Do you still drive by your old place and say That's My Old House?
What about the house you are in now? Are you starting a family or adding on to the house? Are you restoring it back to its original era? How many members of your family reside there, what is your favorite gathering place in the house and why?
Yes, you have a story to tell and we want to hear it.
The founder of the site, Pamela Ravenwood, former executive director of a historical society, recognizes that people both want to share the information about the home they grew up and, in turn, want others to find such information.
"Every old house has a story to tell," says Ravenwood. "What gives a home such great value is its history, and what I mean by history is not necessarily the age of the building but the stories that come with it. The reason most people like historic buildings isn't just because of its architecture, which can be replicated. It's the knowing that another preceded you, and lifetimes occurred within that home's walls. Our website was designed to collect those stories and memories."
The site is new but already has close to 1600 entries and hundreds of registered users. Many of the homes on the site are houses that have been listed on the National Register, which makes the site a great resource for researchers.
To guide users through the story-telling process of their house memories, there are twelve questions you can answer. Such questions include: what is your family name; what is your fondest memory of your old house; and what kind of work was your family involved with. There is also a place where you can upload historic photos.
"People of all ages are recounting the stories of their childhood, whether that childhood was in the 60s or the 30s," Ravenwood said. "Some are telling the story of the home they are currently in, which is also valuable, as we are all making history in the moment. Many stories are already gone with those who held them. That is why we feel now is the time to start telling your story, whatever story that might be."
In addition to providing a forum for folks to share their memories of their home, there is also a segment called Life Stories. Here people are asked to submit their favorite hometown story. These stories revolve around places.
The site may potentially serve as a genealogy that evolves around the home and hometown. Many visitors are searching out their family connections and are seeking those family roots that stem from a building that still could be standing.
ThatsMyOldHouse.com is a free service. You can learn more at http://thatsmyoldhouse.com.