The Blum family home was completed in the early 1900s. Documents in the Madison County offices in Edwardsville, Ill., show the date of completion as 1900 but construction was, according to my father, started when he was a small child. Another house was on the lot before this house was built, and that house was moved west down Main Street. It no longer exists. My father and my Aunt Lucile both told me about begging to be allowed to ride in the old house when it was moved down the street, but were denied the pleasure. Since my father was born in 1902, the new house could not have been completed by 1900.

Please take a look at the old photo of the house as it looked when my father, the little boy standing against the foundation in the foreground, was probably, judging by his size in the photo, 5 to 8 years old. If you look carefully you may be able to see my grandfather standing on the porch, next to the white column between the tree and where my father is standing. The house was painted a dark color, probably green, and as you will see the wooden steps were replaced by concrete ones at some point prior to my arrival on the scene. Also the wooden railings around the porch roof were added; again, I do not know the date but it was, of course, before 1937.

This was the family home from the date of its completion until 1997. It is now the property of the Collinsville Public Library. When I was growing up, there was a house between our house and the library, which was the home of the Stehman family. Mrs. Lucille Stehman, who was married to Milton Stehman of that family and who is now deceased, is the author of the book entitled “Collinsville : A Pictorial History” (G. Bradley, St. Louis, 1992), which I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the community. Now the library and the family home are next door to each other and the house is called “The Blum House” and is used by community groups and by families for wedding receptions and other gatherings, and in the summer the front lawn is the scene of a variety of concerts.