Mardi GrasOn a street lined historic homes, in a neighborhood full of historic homes, this week’s historical shelter may be small, but it’s also the antidote for any Mardi Gras FOMO you might be experiencing this year.

On a street lined historic homes, in a neighborhood full of historic homes, this week’s historical shelter may be small, but it’s also the antidote for any Mardi Gras FOMO you might be experiencing this year.

After all, if you’ve been flicking through photos of all the festivities going on right now, you might also be having a bit of internal conflict — how do you get close to all that fun, but not so close that you’re dealing the hustle and bustle of the New Orleans French Quarter?

The answer just might be in this 1919 Greek Revival building, where one of 10 units is up for sale for $299,500. Located at 1206 Chartres St., Unit 2 is the perfect pad for the occasional NOLA visitor, who wants more comfort and freedom than the usual hotel.

Courtesy of MardiGrasNewOrleans.com

And, bonus, it’s also on a few of the parade routes, but not every parade route. (more…)

gold rushAlways a hotel, this week’s gold-rush era historical shelter in California also has its place in history as the location for an office and stage stop for an express company that ran mail across the country.

The site of the current Hotel Sutter, located in Sutter Creek, California, was first home to the American House Hotel, built in 1851. It served as a stop for Adams & Co., later Adams Express Company, which pre-dated Wells Fargo.

Sutter Creek is named after a local creek, which in turn got its name from a local prospector, John Sutter, who discovered gold nearby in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush.  Sutter owned a sawmill where the mother lode was found, and after fortune hunters began trampling his land, he decided to prospect, too, moving to Sutter Creek to begin his own mining operation, using his servants to mine, something that drew the disapproval of the miners also working to find gold. Eventually, he returned to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and never mined again. (more…)

AmericaThere is just something about a Colonial and Early American era home that makes you want to pull out the David McCullough books and transport yourself back to the incredible point in time where a new nation was born.

And we’ve made no secret of our love of a well-preserved home from that era — we’ve written about the Green Hill House in Salem, Virginia; the Philadelphia home of Joseph Hopkinson; the Daniel Bliss Homestead in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; and the Samuel Jones house in Concord, Massachusetts.

This week’s historical shelter was built in 1672, and was home to Joseph Hosmer, who was a lieutenant at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. In fact, he acted as adjutant in the Battle of Concord, which happened the same day as the Battle of Lexington — April 19, 1775.

The Battle Of Concord, 1775

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Lost

This abandoned building was once the deputy sheriff’s office in Langtry, Texas, and is one of several photos photographer Bronson Dorsey captured in his quest to create the book Lost, Texas (photos courtesy Bronson Dorsey).

We make no secret about our love history here on CandysDirt.com and SecondShelters.com, although the bulk of our attention tends to skew toward the adored, restored, and lovingly preserved.

But earlier this year, Texas photographer Bronson Dorsey’s book, Lost, Texas: Photographs of Forgotten Buildings, brought to light another dimension of Texas history — the forgotten parts that were left to the march of time and elements.

“In many cases for the buildings and the towns in the book, the towns began to fail when younger people moved out for jobs in the city,” Dorsey told us during a phone chat. “And there was an economic base to support the businesses and towns in the beginning, thanks to the railroad often, but eventually, they got passed by the interstate.” (more…)

Monte VistaWhen we found this week’s historical shelter, an English Domestic Revival home in the Monte Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, we immediately wanted to know more about one of the largest historic districts in the United States.

And we became even more intrigued when we found out that the district, which encompasses 100 city blocks in midtown San Antonio, had rather humble beginnings as a goat pasture.

According to historians, the Monte Vista neighborhood began as a development when, in 1889, real estate developers began eyeballing the land — which was being used for grazing land for goats, five miles north of downtown San Antonio.

Street by street, developers built homes, with different developers owning blocks at a time. The entire enclave was finished in the 1930s. At the time, Monte Vista would be considered one of San Antonio’s tonier Gilded Age suburbs, showcasing several styles of homes, including Classical Revival, Tudor, Spanish Eclectic, and Craftsman, built by names like Alfred Giles, Harvey Young, James Riely Gordon, and Atlee B. Ayres. (more…)

Miami ShoresWhen we look for historical shelters every week, we always find some beautiful homes with interesting stories — and that’s true this week as well, with the Simmons Estate in Miami Shores, Florida.

It’s always fun to go back and look at 1920s architecture — the era embraced luxury in a way that was potentially over the top, but so well crafted that to this day newer construction often attempts to emulate the grandeur.

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school In our quest to find the most interesting historical shelters, we fully admit to being suckers for a good school house conversion, and this example in the historic mining village of Hillsboro, New Mexico, does not disappoint.

The school was built in the 1800s, listing agent Crystal Lay with Steinborn & Associates Real Estate said, and it taught generations of elementary school students in the mining town.

More recently, it’s been beautifully renovated, and the sellers took pains to incorporate wonderful details into that renovation.

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PhiladelphiaWhen Philadelphia lawyer Joseph Hopkinson and his wife Emily settled into their home on Spruce Street in 1794, the country was still in its infancy. Construction on the home itself had been completed just three years prior, by cabinet maker Jesse Williams.

Hopkinson saw the country grow from a collection of colonies that banded together for independence from England to a country, watching his father, Francis, sign the Declaration of Independence. Francis Hopkinson was also credited with designing the first Stars and Stripes during the Revolutionary War and later served as governor of Pennsylvania.

But the junior Hopkinson would forge his own place in U.S. history, penning the lyrics to “Hail, Columbia,” the first national anthem — a song that would remain so until the 1890s — at his home in 1798, using a melody written by Philip Phile 10 years prior.

They would raise their 14 children in the home, which also has its place in the Library of Congress, where one can read about the composition and use of “Hail, Columbia,” and also see photos of the home from decades ago. (more…)