Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tiny Houses - Shotgun Houses in Globeville

The tiny houses built in Globeville before the 1900s were not an architectural statement or expression of a social movement, but a source of intense pride for the immigrants who arrived during the 1890s. In the old country, successive division of farms through inheritance meant that many farms were too small to sustain a family. Many newcomers from eastern Europe and Russia had been farmers in their homeland, but worked for low wages in Globeville's smelters, railroads and meatpacking plants. They built what they could afford on lots that varied from 37 feet wide to 150 feet long, to 25 feet wide and 175 feet long. Their houses were monuments to their sacrifices, thrift and pride.
Many houses were built in the "shotgun" style - long and narrow, single story homes with sequential rooms and no hallway. As the family grew or more relatives arrived from the old country, rooms could easily be added. A front porch that extended the full width of the front of the house offered a place to sit and visit with neighbors.
Railroad cars could be purchased from the nearby Burlington shops and friends helped each other dismantle the cars and construct houses, barns, and outbuildings from the tongue-in-groove lumber. Most houses and outbuildings were well maintained, with tidy gardens and well-kept yards. Some women even scrubbed their porches and sidewalks. A characteristic of Globeville remains the number of one-story frame houses built close together on long, narrow lots. 

 4535 Pearl Street was built in 1891
North side of 4485 Pennsylvania Street shows the length
House was built in 1908



Mel Hil said...

My great grandparents immigrated from Germany and settled in Globeville with their 4 children in 1899. I have been updating the family history and wanted to learn more about this area and came across your blog. Thank you so much for your efforts! My grandfather built the house at 5075 Logan St in 1901 and his sons continued in the area on Sherman, Grant, and Logan. Many family members worked at the Globe and then later at the Union Pacific shops. We have folks buried at Riverside Cemetery. Best regards, Mel Hildebrandt in California.

Mary Lou Egan said...

Terrific information! Imagine building your own house - I will be driving by 5075 Logan this weekend. What a wonderful history your family has. Thank you for sharing.
Mary Lou