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benali 04-30-2013 01:41 PM

New DIY'er in an Old house
Hi everyone,

I've lived in a 60 year old house for a couple decades and have done little work on it. It wasn't in great shape to begin with, so now it really needs some fixing up. I've finally got the time, so here I am. Now if I only had the skills! So I'll be asking lots of newbie questions. I'm thankful you have a PC thread so at least I can contribute something back (I'm a longtime IT person and great with PCs).

BTW, my house is pretty cool, if rundown. It was built by a man who immigrated to the US after fighting for Germany in WWII. It has lots of European touches, like cabinets built on angles in corners, and of course the inevitable German wine cellar (not an American root cellar, a real wine cellar). I'm still searching for where he hid his geld.

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to interacting.

Gary in WA 04-30-2013 10:39 PM

Welcome to the forums!


PaliBob 05-01-2013 03:13 PM

The WW2 German Vet may have been a POW here in the states.
There were over 370,000 German POW's here during WW2. They were mostly not confined to camp so they could make beer money by taking day jobs on the local economy, mostly as farm workers. The USA had ~ 16 million in the Armed forces so the manpower shortage was desperate. There was no forced labor, Prisoners had to volunteer, they were paid a fixed wage by the locals.
Your local library may have more info. Here is a great source that I found in mine: Stallag USA

benali 05-05-2013 12:46 PM

Thank you, Bob, for the info! I never knew this history. I will definitely look it up. Fascinating.

What I know about the guy who built my house is that he fought for Germany in WWII, and sometime afterwards, settled in the US. He founded a small construction firm and spent the next 30+ years building several hundred houses. He built mine for himself and his family and lived there till he passed away in the late 1980s. My guess is that he settled in this area because it had many German immigrants and German was still spoken around here occasionally when I moved in in the 1980s. Though I don't know the specifics, I've also heard that sentiment in town was against going to war with Germany in the First WW, and that this controversy actually resulted in them renaming the town for some reason.

All the houses are hand-laid brick (the old way), with big clunky wide gutters (50's style). Most are small by today's standards .. usually 2 bedrooms. Very solid construction with solid oak floors, many interesting Swiss-style cabinets, all made by hand.

I joined this forum because I think my house could be really interesting if restored and kept up better. But I know so little about repair. So it's time for me to learn...!

Thanks again for the info.

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