We give names freely … pets have names, stuffed animals have names, and often cars have names. But naming a house? Who gives a house a name? It turns out we do.
I once listed a home at 20th and B streets. It’s an “elegant interpretation of the Prairie School influences.” This home is called the Miller-Walt House, and it was built in 1912 for "Edwin Miller, secretary of the Nebraska Corn Mills, and later owned by Edward Walt, proprietor of a Lincoln music store" (The Near South Walking Tours Vol. 2, sub-neighborhood Mt. Emerald).
My latest travel adventure in Ireland highlighted many home names. The large, manor homes had names that are well-used. One was called Rathmullan House. When I told people in multiple nearby towns where I was staying, all I had to say was “Rathmullan House.” Even in Dublin and smaller towns, residential homes have names. The name plates are located on the front gate or pillar by the street. Some examples are Almora, Joyville and Lakelands. What do these names mean?
Houses are commonly named to reflect the family background, or by putting two surnames together, or perhaps referencing a nearby landmark, or the owner’s favorite spot. Then the name sticks with the home. While the house may change hands, the name stays the same. After all, the name is on a plaque on the gate.
What I think is fascinating is the use of the house name in the postal address. This doesn’t seem to be a mailing requirement, just common practice. You include the house’s name before the street address. An example of addressing a letter: Miss Ann Darcy, Lakelands House, 234 Galway St. And residents know of the house by name, and refer to it by that name.
My house doesn’t have a name. But what if it did? I think I’d call it Franklin, Frank for short.
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Katie Pocras, MBA, Associate Broker
Location Real Estate