I've been doing some research trying to pinpoint the approximate age of my home. I would consider it a 1.5 story bungalow. The chain of ownership information that i'm finding through the court house seems to date it older than when bungalows came into fashion. Here are some things that may help date the home.
- field stone foundation with stone faced block on top
- brick insulation on exterior walls
- plumbing cast iron house trap
What other information would help date my home?
Don't bother doing it this way with pictures. An afternoon spent at the local property records office should allow you to pin down the age of the house to within 5 years. If it's the age I think, it's quite possible it was an old subdivision, with a subdivision map filed with the county recorders/protonotary/similar office. If you find out where property records are filed, they might be willing to help, and you can find when the property was first sold or subdivided.
Also, check old Sanborn fire insurance maps, many of which are available online, which might indicate when it moved from farmland to residential rproperty.
I agree that deeds and fire maps are a good way to go. Also, if your town has City Directories stored at your library or historical society (like phone books, but for all households, and indexed by name and street address), then those can pin a house down to within a year or two. In the meantime, interior photos of original woodwork, and doorknobs hinges and other hardware might help as well. Less accurate, but easier to post.
I'm presuming, from the amount of work you've already done, that you also checked with your local historical society? At least in our case I went through all the old photos in their files and found a dated picture of the town in which our house can be seen. So if you haven't tried that yet, you should, although in my case I had to spend an afternoon trolling through dusty files.
Depending on where you're located, you might also want to check old building and sewer dept files, which might indicate when the sewer hookup happened or if they retained the building permit pulled when the house was built (extremely unlikely, I know, but stranger things have happened).
From what you've pulled so far, it sounds as though at least the foundation was built in the 1870s. Depending on what the architectural history folks here think, seems to me that it's likely the house was built then, and then possibly modified when bungalows became more fashionable. Our house was built in the late 1860s, but a new front facade, including a chinese chippendale pattern porch, was added around the turn of the century.
You might also want to see if the version you have now matches any plans in any of the bungalow pattern books. If there you can find a match, it could give a base year before which the changes might be unlikely.
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