According to The Huffington Post, the median home price in the United States (2014) is $ 188,900.00. Even adjusted for inflation over the years, housing prices have increased enormously since the 1940s.

My parents were married in 1940. Until they bought their first home in 1941, they lived for a few months with my father’s parents, Henry and Fanny Longenecker, and then with a relative, “Uncle” Elmer Longenecker in the village of Rheems, Pennsylvania. The newlyweds’ first home of about 1240 square feet cost $ 5000.00.

Just as astonishing as the price of the house was the bill for their home furnishings from Eberly Furniture Store just above Elizabethtown. They outfitted this home for $ 425.00 including a dining room and bedroom suites with a mattress and box springs, a kitchen table, rugs and two utility cabinets.

Eberly Furniture receipt_150

Please note that table pads for the dining room and a third, smaller rug were apparently thrown in as a bonus. Milton was a happy man the day Ray and Ruth Longenecker walked through the door of his store. And the feeling was mutual. My Mother’s comment on the receipt says it all: “We bought this all at one time, but not these days. Isn’t this something.”

The Art Deco bedroom suite has been replaced with something more contemporary but not nearly as beautiful to my taste. What is left of the original purchase: the kitchen table and chairs and the Duncan Phyfe dining room suite.


Isn’t that something?

The “Moments of Discovery” series is Part One of a continuing series that will unfold as we sort through the contents of the house on Anchor Road. It joins other series on this blog: Purple Passages, Moments of Extreme Emotion, and 10 Tips/Secrets.

How do you furnish a house – traditional, contemporary, eclectic? 

Coming next: Secrets in My Hatbox