The First House

Do you recognize these people sitting on our porch?

In 1922 when Carl, Leanne’s grandfather bought this property, there was one house on it with two rooms. Two rooms for his wife Lempi, Lempi’s mother, Lempi’s two daughters, and Carl. Quickly they built two front rooms onto the house.

If you would like to see a map of Hammond in 1912 click here.

By 1923 they had built a larger house next door, inspired by another Finnish family’s house in Webster’s Corners, a neighbourhood on the east side Maple Ridge. The big house is often called the Whitehead Residence, but we’re calling it Hammond Forever House these days.

The first house–we call it the Little Yellow House–was added on to again at the back when the municipal sewer was built. By 1937 both houses had the same footprint they do today. This is a page from the Statement of Significance we created as part of our Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the City of Maple Ridge.SOS page 16

Carl built other houses on the block and rented them out to men who worked in the mill like he did.

Lempi passed away and Carl married Leanne’s grandmother Anna. They had two children together: Julie, Leanne’s mom, and Jim.

Jim’s initials are carved in the side of the house and his BB gun pellets are embedded in the door of the garage. Apparently he was quite a scamp. Recently, he turned up some photos from the days when Carl’s first wife Lempi was still alive. These are from her photo album.

The first thing Julie noticed was that in one photo there is a doorway and small porch on the south side of the house.

That door doesn’t exist today. We don’t know who the people on the porch are. Do you?

WH1930s5Carl is on the left and Lempi is sitting third from the left. Do you recognize anyone else? This could have been on a beach in the lower mainland or in Chase, BC, where Carl and Lempi met before they moved to Port Hammond.

We have not had time to research who, what and where the rest of the photos depict, but I thought I would share them nevertheless. If you know any of these people (or dogs), please let me know! Click on the photo to enlarge it.



Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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