1938 | Little House, Big Surprise!

93 W. Lewis Ave.

This humble red-brick ranch home in the Willo neighborhood holds an amazing secret — a block of wood with the names of the construction crew who built it in 1938, found when past owners remodeled the bathroom. The full text of the block says:

This home was built by Wayne L Gray Construction Co. Men who worked on this home are as follows: Henry B Gray, Neal Gray, Elum Gray, Robert J Discombe, Chester Patton. Built during the months of Sept. and Oct., year 1938. When you find this tablet it will be our proof that homes built by us, LAST! (over)” and on the back it continues “May that year be 1990!

Of course that block of wood is a precious keepsake for the home’s owners, but it’s also a testament to the pride of craftsmanship that went into each of these old homes — even the simplest 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 940 sq ft ranch!


  1. Robin Gray

    So cool to see the names of my grandfather and two of my uncles here. None of them are alive, but my father, who is 91 and also worked on building homes with his brother Wayne, enjoyed reading the article,

    1. Oh my gosh! That is so cool! This is one of those happy accidents that rarely happen — what are the odds that the owner would open up the very same wall your grandfather and uncles put the plaque in? I am also surprised that it took them only 2 months to build this house out of brick! Kudos to your family.

    2. Hi Robin, I thought I had replied to this — I am so happy you stumbled across my post about your grandfather and uncles! What amazes me is that they put their “note” to the future in the one wall that has been opened up so we can all see this little bit of history!

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