SHINE is a look backward from the present to Salem's 1860 charter. In each year we have four sections: glimpses of what was happening around the world, a special event in Salem, what you see when you visit that site today, and other Salem events of interest that year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Their House Fell on Them

photo from the collection of Eileen and Doug Ebanks

Eileen and Doug Ebanks had already done a lot of research on their 1909 house when we met them in 2007. It was probably built by Adam Korb or his son David, both concrete contractors whose name can be seen pressed into many older sidewalks in Grant and SESNA neighborhoods. By 1962 when this photograph above was taken, the house was owned by Kenneth and Lucille Bass.

Walking in our Grant neighborhood one afternoon, we saw this house and were attracted by the handsome, blue-painted residence with matching fence, flowers and landscaping softening the strict lines. We introduced ourselves to the Eileen and Doug Ebanks who owned the property.

Photograph by Timothy Gonzalez of the Statesman Journal

Not many months after we met the Ebanks, we were alarmed to hear the house, on supports to excavate for a basement, had fallen in the middle of the night, July 24, 2008. Eileen, Doug and one of their young sons were sleeping inside. Eileen was seriously injured, the others only superficially. The photograph above was published in the Statesman Journal with an article stating that the Ebanks planned to rebuild their home as close to the original as possible.

Now, almost a year later, here is the rebuilt house as it appeared on June 21, 2009. They have stayed true to the spirit of the house, considering the present code requirements and the need to accommodate their careers and their family. Eileen is recovering from her back injury and so this is a happy ending to a story that could have been tragic. Yes, it has a basement ~ and will be painted blue.


Stephanie Matlock Allen said...

Thanks for the follow up to this horrible story. I'm so glad they're rebuilding, and it looks great!

Rebekah said...

This is such an incredible story. I remember reading about it and always wondered how they were doing. I'll have to take a walk by there and see how the rebuild is looking. Thanks for the update.

prashant said...

o god i just cant believe this .
thanks buddy its really incredible story and such a horror.

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