Cool tool for home history

If you live in one of West Seattle’s many older houses and have a bit of curiosity about who lived in your house way back when, here’s an unlikely tool: The city database of “side sewer cards.” Look up your address and you’ll find an image of the hand-drawn, hand-written records showing where your house connects its “side sewer” to the nearest main city pipe and who owned it last time it was inspected (check the back of the “card” for that info). And if yours goes back far enough that the person who originally owned it is likely to have left the planet by now, you can look ’em up on the Social Security Death Index.

6 Replies to "Cool tool for home history"

  • The House March 4, 2007 (7:40 pm)

    I just looked up mine. Just as I expected, I’m the most facinating person that’s lived in my house.

  • Chet Desmond March 5, 2007 (8:05 am)

    Thanks for the link. I love researching the history of my house and never knew about this resource.

  • Gina March 5, 2007 (10:08 am)

    I didn’t know my downspouts were hooked to the side sewer.

    I ate dinner many a time with the original owner of my home. Did find out that the plumbing contractor in 1941 was a logical choice for the original owner. And that the city mispelled one of the neighbor’s names in 1922.

  • MM March 5, 2007 (11:55 am)

    How do you get the old photographs of your house?

  • Jimmy March 5, 2007 (6:43 pm)

    I would be interested in finding old photos of my home too. So far, all I have come up with are the pictures taken by real estate agents which have been posted on the nwmls site. i had to have a friend bring up the house since he is an agent.

  • John Laplante March 5, 2007 (7:41 pm)

    We found historic photos of our house through the King County Archives. I had to provide my property i.d. (from my annual tax assessment summary, but also available online), and then the Archives looked up the number and provided me with a list of what was available in my file. For a nominal fee, they will reproduce the photos as well as any other documentation in the file. The archives are located in Bellevue at the community college.

    Here is some contact info:

    Historical House Photos
    (Historical photos of businesses and houses from 1937 to present.)
    Prior to 1973: Washington State Archives – Puget Sound Region
    (425) 564-3940
    By appointment only – call for directions.

    1973 to present: Assessor’s Office
    (206) 296-7300
    Call to ensure photo is available.

Sorry, comment time is over.