Who Has Been Sleeping In My House?

One of Castlemaine's most prominent commercial buildings, George Clark Place at 203-205 Barker Street still bears the relief across the front 'Geo Glark & Son'. This large two storey warehouse was the city's major store for mining supplies, groceries and hardware.

One of Castlemaine’s most prominent commercial buildings, George Clark Place at 203-205 Barker Street still bears the relief across the front ‘Geo Glark & Son’. This large two storey warehouse was the city’s major store for mining supplies, groceries and hardware.

How much do you really know about the home you’ve been living in? Do you know who has been sleeping in your house since it was built? If you’re in an older home, looking into its history can help you learn some interesting facts about it. And when it comes time to sell your home this information might just impress potential buyers.

An example of how this information can be used may be seen in a recent site created for Clevedon Manor here in Castlemaine. Note the range of material that makes this feature quite distinctive from the usual marketing material. The owners had a file of very interesting ephemera which combined to tell a narrative about the home.

Not everyone has a file like this.

Researching your home’s history can be done in a number of ways, including:

  • Look up land and property records: You can find out who owned the land you’re on in the past by doing a title or deed search. You can learn about changes made to your property over the years by looking up tax records.
  • Research census data: Looking up local census data helps you learn more about your home’s previous owners. You can find out things like how much they paid for your home and how many kids they had.
  • Talk to others: Ask around to see if your neighbors know anything about your home’s previous owners. Local business owners might also have information for you on your home’s history.
  • Examine your house: Look for telltale signs of changes, like different types of bricks, exposed rafters and old paint or wallpaper in closets.
  • Do additional research: Read books about researching your home’s history. These should be available in local bookstores and your local library.
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