Monday, January 30, 2012

Talented Tuesday: The House that Grandpop Robinson Built

I come from a family full of tradesman.  My father started as a bricklayer, later added roofing to his repertoire and now operates as a general contractor.  His father, Samuel Raynor Robinson, was a bricklayer and builder, as well.  My brothers, uncles, cousins and great-grandfathers also work(ed) in the building trades.  Today, I have an example of my Grandpop's work to share.  He grew up in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.  After he married my grandmother, Lettie Mae, he bought some property out in the Fox Chase area and built a house for his family.

The house that Grandpop built in Fox Chase, about 1930
This is a picture of the house from my Grandmom's scrapbook.  It was taken around 1930ish.  Unfortunately, something "funny" happened with the bank and my Grandparents lost this house and ended up moving back to the Kensington/Port Richmond area before my father was born, but my aunts and uncles all lived in this house.

In the 1930 census, I found my grandaparents and my eldest uncle, Sam, living in this home.  It was the only house on the street.  There was an address in the census, so, my Dad and I decided to take a drive to try to locate it.  The problem was that when I mapped the address, 257 Roslyn St in Abington Township, there wasn't an exact match.  After staring at a map for a while and chatting with my Dad (He'd been by the house a few times over the years), we figured out that the road was now called Roseland Avenue in Rockledge and made a plan to go check it out.  We drove around a bit and successfully located the house, not only had the street changed names, but the number was different, as well!
The House that Grandpop Built, 2010
I tried to get a picture from roughly the same angle as the old picture.  It was really nice to see how well the house was cared for and that it's no longer the lonely house on the street!
The House that Grandpop built, 2010, looking loved.
Roughly 80 years old, this house is a job well done by Sam Robinson.


  1. Very cool! It's a testament to his skill that the home is still around. It's also nice to see that someone loves it. Did you knock on the door? I wonder what the family would have thought about knowing the history.

    1. I didn't have the nerve to knock...I should mail them a copy of the picture!

  2. That is so cool, Becky! A great find and wonderful to have taken pictures. A great post!

    1. Thanks, Cherie! When I drive around Philadelphia with my Dad, he's always pointing out various buildings that he or my Grandpop or one of my uncles helped to build or remodel. It's pretty cool!