Thursday, August 6, 2015

From the Journal of Nell Dufour--1949

Lawrence and Nell Dufour along with their growing family moved into 53 North Audubon Road in 1949. The couple spent the remainder of their lives in this beautiful dwelling. Mrs. Dufour taught her children to be quiet and respectful on Sunday mornings when the Methodists gathered across the street. Friday nights were often "popcorn" night for the younger children. Mrs. Dufour was an excellent cook and delicious aromas often drifted out of the kitchen window and into the neighborhood. Holidays were especially joyful for the Dufours. The older siblings brought home husbands, wives, and grandchildren at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes was also an important part of life for the family. Mrs. Dufour was instrumental in introducing the concept of school uniforms for students at Our Lady of Lourdes School.  Laundry chutes, a dark basement, a formal hedge, and other parts of the property provided plenty of fun, mayhem, and pranks for the Dufour children. Mrs. Dufour kept a daily log for part of her time in the house. Each year, Mr. Dufour presented her with a diary so that she could record the history of her family. The Dufours now cherish her words as she managed to chronicle the sometimes-forgotten daily moments of their busy family. In this final installment from 1949, Mrs. Dufour documented the selling of 5125 East Michigan Street and their purchase of 53 North Audubon Road. It was an exciting time for the family.

From Lawrence J. Dufour

January 1, 1949:  This diary has been presented to my beloved wife in fond hopes that she will render a vivid day by day record on the doings and happenings in the lives of the Dufours, from henceforth. L.J. Dufour

53 North Audubon Road c1985 (Photo Credit: Daniel Dufour)

Buying 53 North Audubon Road and Selling 5125 East Michigan Street

January 9, 1949:  Went to see the house on Audubon. Been thinking about it for sometime now. Lo and Behold--we bought the house!!! Brought the "For Sale" sign home with us and now starts the confusion of showing people this house. (5125 East Michigan Street) Bought the house for $20,000. Selling this one for $12,500. Hope we get it since we did so much to this house--even if we hate to leave it, but we are so crowded.

January 10, 1949:  Larry put the the "For Sale" sign out in the front yard.

January 15, 1949:  Worked very hard today to get the house in order to be shown tomorrow.

January 16, 1949:  (Sunday)  The house was shown to six parties. One with four children was very interested in it and will probably buy.

January 20, 1949:  Mr. Hargrove (Charles M.) brought in another party this morning. 

January 23, 1949:  Hurrah! Hurrah! The house was sold. Our thanks to God for this was a blessing too, since the house was only open a week. Sold it to the Lees (Eldred and Kathryn Lee) for $12,000 instead of $12,500. I am happy for them too because they needed the a house so badly for the little children. Now, it seems we have to get packing since we are giving immediate possession. 

53 North Audubon Road c1949 

February 24, 1949:  Because of baby's illness, (Christopher Dufour) I was unable to go to the bank to meet with the Lees and the Smiths. (John M. and Mildred Smith owned 53 North Audubon Road) A Hargrove Real Estate agent, and a man from the bank came out with papers for me to sign. 

February 25, 1949:  We now own the property on 53 North Audubon Road. Humbly, I thank God for this--another of His abundant blessings.  

Moving Day

March 10, 1949:  This is the day--Moving to 53 North Audubon Road. Its an awful day to move--quite a heavy snowstorm last night. 

Winter beauty at 53 North Audubon Road c1988 (Photo: Daniel Dufour)

First Gathering in the New House

March 31, 1949:  Of all the years I have been doing church work, this is the first time I had a meeting at our house. It was a very nice feeling and I was proud to have them come into our home. 

New Lamps

May 6, 1949:  Interior decorator, Miss Ellis brought in a pair of beautiful lamps for the living room. Since they fit in so beautifully with the color scheme, we decided to keep them at $19.98 each. We think they are quite a buy too.

School Uniforms for the Children at Our Lady of Lourdes

August 2, 1949:  Preparing for a meeting here tomorrow night. Will discuss uniforms and get things lined up for big meeting. Block's Department Store called--heard about the uniforms and wants to submit samples.  

A Sampling of Dufour Family Photos at 53 North Audubon Road

Father and Daughter: Bernadette Dufour and Lawrence Dufour in the living room at 53 North Audubon Road in 1960

Lenore Dufour in the living room at 53 North Audubon Road in 1961

Lenore Dufour on the staircase in 53 North Audubon Road on Easter Day in 1960

Lenore Dufour in the family home at 53 North Audubon Road in 1961

Autumn Splendor: A gorgeous maple tree used to thrive in the front yard of the Dufour home at 53 North Audubon Road. Note the hedge that used to border the sidewalk.  (photo taken on Thanksgiving Day in 1961)

Lenore Dufour at 53 North Audubon Road on Christmas Day, 1961

Christmas in 1961 at the Dufour home at 53 North Audubon Road

Christmas tree at the Dufour home at 53 North Audubon Road in 1961

Christmas 1963: Mrs. Dufour was very proud of her new color  scheme in the living room 

53 North Audubon Road c1980.  Note that the street sign says "Audubon Place." (Photo: Daniel Dufour)

Glowing:  53 North Audubon Road on a gorgeous autumn day c1990 (Photo: Daniel Dufour)

Spring beauty:  53 North Audubon Road c1990 (Photo: Daniel Dufour)
The stories and photos for this post are courtesy of the Dufour family.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm struck by the home prices--$20,000 for the one they bought (53 N. Audubon) and $12,500 for the one they sold (5120 E. Michigan). I know the house on Audubon is larger, newer, and nicer than the home my parents bought in 1952 (347 N. Layman), but they paid only $9,600 for it. Quite a differential.