Thursday, December 6, 2007

Seaverns Avenue - 1949-1951

Lill and Bill Bulger, in front of Fraternity Hall on the day of my uncle and aunt's wedding. You can just see my brother Jim's head in my father's right hand. The sign in the background says that it was officially the Odd Fellows hall. I believe that that last time I drove through it was being rebuilt for... wait for it.... condos.

My father, William Bulger, brother Jim, and the granddaughter of the lady next door. The building on the left is Capen Hall, at the back of the Central Congregational church.

Thanksgiving 1949 at 92 Seaverns avenue. From right to left, My uncle Chris, my father, grandmother, brother, mother and my uncle's girl friend.

My mother, Lillian Olander Bulger, her mother, Esther Olander, and Esther's brother Ernie, standing beside Central Congregational church. The houses in the background are still there, across from the church and Capen Hall. My grandmother lived in one of the three mansard-roof houses, and my parents lived in another (84 and 92?). My Mother tells me that those quaint-looking mansard roofs with the slate shingles heated up the second-floor apartment above 100 degrees in the summer in the days before air conditioning.

My grandmother, her brother Ernie, and my uncle Chris. Chris was Arvid Christopher Olander, and was known as Yaco, for his initials; ACO. Chris was 21 in this picture, and would be dead in ten years, killed by a sudden heart attack while being treated for ulcers.

My grandmother and some of her brothers and sisters came to this country from Sweden. She came in 1904, and worked as a domestic for much of her life, cooking, cleaning and taking in laundry. Ironically, she left home because she didn't want to work as a domestic for a farmer in Sweden, and she ended up scrubbing floors on her hands and knees in the land of opportunity.

Both pictures Copyright, 2007.


  1. I have often wondered about those houses on Seavern. Does that kind of house have a name--with their dormers hanging over the street? I like them a lot. Have you ever been in one of them?


  2. Whit

    I was born in one, though I don't remember it - that's my family in the pictures. We stayed for 6 months after I was born before moving to Marlou terrace off Lamartime street.

    Those are mansard roof houses - named after a Frenchman named Mansart. Supposedly, houses were taxed in France based on the number of floors "under the roof", so by putting one floor inside the roof, they lowered their tax.