Welcome to Old House History!

Learn how to discover the genealogy or architectural ancestry of your Old House by using historic City Directories to find who lived in your house. Discover how rare Fire Insurance maps can track how your house developed over the years. Read articles about Historic Houses and Historic House Museums, and learn tips on how to present your Old House on a Heritage House Tour.

Articles in Old House History

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New! The Italianate Style: Royalty and the Grand Tour – A stylish progress
The Victorian enthusiasm for the Italianate style of architecture - fashionable from the 1840's to the 1890's - had its origins in Royal approval; the cult of romantic poetry; and the siren-song of warm climates with winter sun and palm trees.
Queen Anne Style: Architecture and Art – In England and North America
The Queen Anne style of houses gave our cities and towns an exuberant style of architecture. Explore how the style originated, and enjoy the towers, shingles and turned woodwork that make this style distinctive.
Richardson Romanesque:
House Style of the Rich

Richardson Romanesque was the house style for the rich. You had to have money – and lots of it - to build a mansion in masonry, which was the construction material that best suited the new style of the 1880’s and 1890’s.
19th century Gothic Revival Homes and Furnishings in North America
The Gothic Revival style of the mid to late 19th century was a looking back at the grandeur of the past; it was also a way to claim the history and the recognition of the greatness that the cathedrals had originally inspired.
A Planned Company Town: Powell River, British Columbia
Powell River, British Columbia, is a company town for the Canadian pulp and paper industry. It was built after 1910 and has a great store of bungalows built as housing for the workers at the Mill.
Port Gamble: A Historic sea-side town in the Pacific Northwest
On the shore of Puget Sound lies a small unincorprated town from the 19th century, that seems to be slumbering on into the 21st century.  Discovering it while driving – for a minor Washington State highway actually runs through the town – is a surprise of the pleasantest kind. A small main street, a few rows of […]
Historic House Museums of Hawaii
The history of Hawaii is fascinating for visitors who can pry themselves away from the beaches and the warm waters of Hawaii. The historic house museums of Hawaii offer a pleasant distraction during a tropical vacation.
Historic House Museums of Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is an altogether different City from Charleston, its nearby neighbour. The layout of the city, one of the first planned communities in North America, has 24 town squares, and is unique in North America.
Historic House Museums of Charleston, South Carolina
Sometimes the best way to learn about historic houses is to visit them. Some areas of the country have few historic houses open to the public, while others seem to be blessed with them.
The Genealogy of your House –Who lived here?
People research their family genealogy all the time. But have you tried researching your old house's genealogy? Here are some tips for using City Directories to get the results.
Is your Old House on a House Tour? How to keep sane (and welcoming!)
Visiting Historic Houses is a great way to learn about the history of your town. Opening your own Old House for a Tour is a way of sharing your history with others. How to have a successful house tour!
Creating a Chronology –Keeping track of your House’s History
Organizing your Old House's history by creating a Chronology is an easy, readable way of organizing your research. Updates and additions are a snap, and the useful results can be shared with others.
Searching for your House’s History:Using Historic Fire Insurance Maps
Amazing Sanborn Fire Insurance maps dating between 1867 to 1969 can reveal the construction history of your Old House and your neighbourhood. How to find and use this rare resource.