There is a four year discrepancy within the secondary sources about when our home was built. But a visit to the County Recorder's office has turned up a key piece of info that leads me to believe it was built in 1915.
As the story goes, our neighbor's house originally stood on the corner, but was moved to the back of the lot when our home was built. This notion was confirmed by Robert Hutchinson who would have been about three or four at the time, and by Sandborn Insurance maps, but neither was conclusive as to the exact year.
The deed record states that Frank Hutchinson purchased lot 57 from Margret and Blair Buntin of St Joseph County for $2250 on June 12, 1905 and then according to the Mortgage Records on June 24th he took out an $800 five year mortgage at 8%.
I'm sure Frank and Jennie must have lived happily in our neighbor's house. On February 24, 1909 the mortgage was paid in full. Frank continued to follow his law career, becoming the county prosecutor, serving on the school board and traveling extensively throughout Europe. Four years later (in 1912) Robert was born and in two more (1914) Florence joined them.
Just as our friends are finding, that house gets smaller with two kids, especially if they couldn't share a room. What to do? How about move the house to the back of the lot and build your dream home? And so on January 24, 1915 Frank and Jennie took out another five year mortgage for $2800 at 6% on all but the back 60 feet of the lot (exactly where the lot is currently divided).
Now Robert remembered living in the house while it was still being finished, probably for several years (anybody know what that's like?) and there is a record of a $3000 mortgage at 7% in 1921 but by this time Frank's acquired several nearby lots and it's difficult to tell what the money was used for. The garage was obviously built at a later date. I can't imagine it would be more expensive than the house but neither do I know how much cash they had saved up.
So it's my belief that the house was begun in 1915, giving us just nine more years to plan a Grand Century Party! Do you think we can get everything done by then?