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Thread: What class of people had a concrete basement/foundation

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  1. #1
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    El Supremo!!

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    What class of people had a concrete basement/foundation

    Say, round about 1910, rural northern Michigan, post-logging homesteaders, about 15 miles from a decent size town.

    How well off would someone have been, if their home was built on a concrete foundation?....or a basement?

    After being to many homestead sites, I got to pondering this. Most are nothing no, no sign of activity except a bit of trash, maybe a trash pit. Others you find a cellar hole, but a few stand out having concrete foundations, or actual basement walls.

    I know it had to take some money and resources to get concrete back that far out in the woods in 1910, but how well off would this person have to be?
    Last edited by A#1; Apr 16, 2018 at 06:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    sprailroad

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    A#1. Basements? I think it not so much as to "how well off" a person would have been, I think it more the area of the country where a house had been built. I grew up in Michigan, and basements were very common, as well as "brick" houses, where as after moving to Oregon, basements seemed very rare, and most houses were built of wood. Water tables? availability of materials?
    tokameel likes this.

  3. #3
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    El Supremo!!

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    I'm mostly assuming it was a matter of money, and commitment to a home.

    Its a puzzle I'm trying to put together

    The particular area I speak of would have been VERY remote at the time. Its still accessable only by miles of 2-track. The land patent was bought in 1907, and the guy died at 66 years old in 1916. So somewhere between 57 and 66 years old, a guy and his wife built a homestead in the middle of nowhere, and could afford to bring concrete 17 miles out from town, and down 2-4 miles of 2 track. After his death, until at least 1927, the home was only accessable thru gaurd shacked land owned by "bad guys" with plenty of loot.....basically making it the abandoned house at the end of at driveway that you could only get to by driving thru land owned by people of a very private, violent, and distrusting nature.
    Last edited by A#1; Apr 16, 2018 at 07:38 AM.

  4. #4
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    El Supremo!!

    Feb 2018
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    so the cement was hauled out dry....unless there was a 1907 cement truck

    mixed on site with local aggregate, which explains the finer texture of sand rather than gravel

    but he still would have had to purchase the cement, and do a lot of work

    starting to paint a better picture

  5. #5
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    tokameel

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    I've lived in S.E. Wisconsin for 62 years and 7 different houses and all had concrete basement floors. We were middle class as were our friends, who also had concrete basement floors. I never saw a "dirt" basement floor in this part of the country.
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  6. #6
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    You can tell us by the finds you make running your detector around the cellar hole and yard .
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    I don't know who owned my house from 1905 to 1945, but I'm still researching. The man who owned it from 1955 until 2004 made numerous improvements. He owned the Five & Dime in Port Allegheny and another in the next town east. He had the financial means to make improvements like extensions and a concrete floor in the basement. Many foundations in this area, on houses that were built around the turn of the century or earlier,, were stone wall foundations.
    I guess it all depended on what monetary resources you had or what skills you possessed.
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  8. #8
    us
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    I agree with tokameet I lived in S Wisconsin for over 30 yrs and i knew plenty of houses with concrete basements built in the early 1900's. All had concrete floors as well.


    I don't detect for the stuff I find, I detect for the stuff I haven't found.

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  9. #9
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    El Supremo!!

    Feb 2018
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    Yeh, I'm gonna have to call it both a sign of the times, and a money factor.

    Of the hundred or so sites I've located and inspected with my buddy Google, theres only 4 actual homes that have concrete remains. All dating 1904-1907.

    The other sites date anywhere from 1873 to the 1940's

    So I'm guessing concrete showed up in the area about 1904, and not that many could afford it or it didnt want to bother, and built with wood.

  10. #10
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    If very remote , much easier to bring concrete material , water, sand, rocks/gravel could be had at site.easier than lugging bricks and mortar

  11. #11
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    Ryan

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    I bought a house built in 1898 in Boscobel (Grant Co. Wisconsin) in 2009 and it had a dirt basement floor under 25%, and a dirt dugout under the rest. In fact, alot of the original houses in town apparently had no basements. They were added after the fact. Something to do more with flooding in town every year from the creek more so than economics. That is what I was told was the reason for it anyways.
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