George and Rae Ferling dwelled at 311 North Bosart Avenue for several decades. Over the years, they planted and built stunning gardens in the backyard. In 1934, the Ferling men built a summer house complete with an open fireplace for grilling out. They also put in a large fish pond next to their garage. Throughout the years, the family planted beautiful tree, shrub, and flower specimens and transformed the small city lot into an oasis. The following historic images reveal this small paradise.
In the top image, George Ferling builds the stone fireplace while his two sons, Tom and Bob, work on the rest of the summer house in 1934. In the second photo, Tom Ferling proudly sits in his Adirondack chair in the completed summer house shortly after its construction. Note the lovely stone fireplace behind him. In the third photo, you can see the summer home as it appeared in 1941. Note the vines growing over the structure, the lovely spruce tree, the stone pathway, and the gorgeous flowers along the property line and garage. Louise Ferling, a grandchild, can be seen on the swing.
In the bottom photo, four generations of Ferlings gather in the rear of the backyard near the fish pond and garage. The elderly woman sitting in the metal chair was Jettie Thomas, the mother of Rae Ferling, who is holding her new grandson, Bill Ferling. The proud father, Tom Ferling, kneels behind the group. This photo was likely taken in September of 1943 shortly after the birth of young Bill.
Little remains of this Eden today. The summer home appears to have been enclosed and perhaps used for storage in 2012. The historic images are courtesy of Bill Ferling.