Thursday, May 18, 2023

Treasures in the Closet -- My Grandfather's Housing Rental Books

After my mother died in early 2002, we emptied her house and sold it, and I took home the "family history stuff" that nobody else wanted.  It included collections from her grandparents, parents, and her own family life.

One of the treasures that I found in the closet of my genealogy cave (which had been my daughter's bedroom before 1997) was the housing rental books that my paternal grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976) added to "religiously" from 1949 to 1976.  There are five books in a box, that can be described as:

1)  A "Rental Data" folder with papers, in my grandfather's handwriting, that describes the rental of six apartment units (2115, 2119, 2123 and 2127 30th Street, and 2114 and 2116 Fern Street) in San Diego, California.  All rental units are on the same block - bounded by Hawthorn Street, 30th Street, Ivy Street and Fern Street. 

2)  Some history:  

*  The building with 2115 and 2119 30th were built by Lyle's parents, Henry Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer, in the late 1890s and was originally at 2105 30th Street as a one family building on the northeastern corner of what is now Hawthorn Street and 30th Street.  They originally had 8 lots on the block. In 1920, they deeded their son, Lyle, two lots and he built a house at 2130 Fern Street.  

*  In about 1928, they moved the house half a block north, added upstairs rooms and front and back staircases, and made it into two separate flats, now 2115 and 2119 30th Street.  At the same time, they built the two story building at 2114 and 2116 Fern Street as separate apartments.  At the same time, Lyle built two separate cottages at 2123 and 2127 30th Street.  Della and Henry Carringer died in 1944 and 1946 and all of their property went to Lyle Carringer.  After Della and Henry died, Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer lived in 2115 30th Street and rented out the other five units.  They sold the 2130 Fern Street house, and sold the vacant lot south of the two two-story buildings, and built a house in Point Loma at 825 Harbor View Place, and moved there in 1951.  They then rented out the 2115 30th Street unit.  

*  My parents, Fred and Betty (Carringer) Seaver, with me and my brother Stan, moved into 2119 30th Street (the upper apartment) in 1947 and paid rent to my grandparents until my grandparents deaths in 1976 and 1977.  All of the property then was inherited by my mother, and my parents moved to the Point Loma house.  She sold all of the properties in 1983.

3)  The "Rental Data" folder contains a tenant history for each unit, listing renter's names, rent rates, furniture/appliances provided, repair receipts, letters about rent increases, etc.  There are also handwritten transcriptions of information sent in "Landlord Reports" to the City that controlled rental rates at certain times off and on over time.  For instance, here is the 1965 list of parcels and tenants and furnishing status:

Each unit has a sheaf of papers with a summary of the tenants, rental terms, etc.:

In about 1970, my parents took over collecting the rents, and made rental agreements with the terms and conditions.  Here is one of the letters:

The folder is about 3/4 inches thick and is a treasure trove of information about the renters in each unit from 1949 to 1976.

4)  Rent Receipt Books with carbon copy receipts, and occasionally the actual checks received or given, in four separate books that cover 1949 to 1972.  Here is a page from one of them:

5)  Although this is really mundane, day-to-day, stuff, it's a major record of the lives of my grandparents and my parents.  I've thought about making a list of the tenants and rent rates and publishing it as a record for posterity (in blog posts?) in case the next generation decides to throw out these records.  There is too much paper to scan all of it and I don't want to take the time to do it.  

I'm going to put it back on the closet shelf with the other "keepers" from the closet treasures. 


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1 comment:

Diane Gould Hall said...

Maybe it’s just me, but I find this kind of “stuff” interesting to look through. While it may not add vital data to a family record, it does add history.