I drove by this house almost every day for over seventeen years
and never knew it existed. The house did not come into view until trees were cleared out for construction. Although it sits only about thirty yards from the road, it was hidden behind a thicket of trees and brush. As you can see, the house is a pitiful sight. It was abandoned years ago.
Since my mom grew up in Matthews, I told her about the house, hoping for a story about the owners or how long it has set empty. You can imagine my surprise when she said, “I know that house. I once lived there.” Whoa! I was shocked.
When she was ten years old and the year was 1930, times were tough. It was the middle of the depression and her father had lost his job. They were forced to move out of their rented house because there was no money to pay the rent. Fortunately they were able to live in this little house on Trade Street rent-free. Because she was still a child, she wasn’t privy to the business arrangement made between her father and the homeowner that allowed the family of six to dwell there. What she does remember is that the dormer windows on the second story made an excellent place to play dolls with her little friend.
At ninety-five years young, my mom tells me about the hardships of growing up back then. I never tire of her stories. It makes me realize how much better off my childhood was than hers. I am forever grateful for the small things like running water, a warm bed, electricity, and all the other comforts of life. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had it so good?