Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Story of 20 North Ora


This is the real story of 20 North Ora and where the name of my blog came from.
The U.S. Government built 500 prefab houses in Pryor, OK during the war because outside of Pryor was the ammunition plant which produced the gun powder for the war.

An article came out that 25 Veterans could buy one of these houses after the war was over.  They called them Chouteau Court Houses because of the area they were built in.
My Dad came home from the Army and just months afterward, this announcement came out.  Mom & Dad applied and were one of the lucky 25 couples to be able to buy a house.
They bought a lot in Pryor for $250.00 in 1947 and paid $1200.00 for the house.  They had to build the foundation, sewer system, etc. themselves.
This house was 30 x 24 feet and had a living room, two bedrooms, one bath and a kitchen.

 Now, you must realize that in the next few years, this family of three would grow to six and then eventually seven.  All in this two bedroom home.
My Mom and Dad worked so hard.  Mom always was a stay-at-home Mom. When I started the First Grade, Mom was expecting her fourth child the first of October.  They had a hard time keeping me in school because I was afraid I was going to miss the baby #4 coming.
So, they told me if I would stay in school, I could name the baby whatever I wanted.
If you remember in the First Grade we had readers that were stories about Dick and Jane and Spot the dog.  So, my parents prayed every night that I wouldn't name my baby sister Spot.
I didn't.  I named her Jane.

The Smith family ended up with four girls.  I am the oldest, then Jean, then Rita and then Jane. 
At one time, I had a twin bed, Jeannie and Rita were both in cribs and we were all in the same room.  Jane was in a crib in Mom and Dad's room.
Then, Mom and Dad built on two more bedrooms on the back of the house because my Nana was coming to live with us.
This fairy tale story continued and for 57 years, we never had a Christmas Eve that we were not all at 20 North Ora.
So, this is why the name is so special to me.  It was here that I learned to sew, and do handwork.  So, the name was so fitting.
The pictures are of the front of the house and Mom's beloved Elephant Ears on the side of the house.
The sign at the top was on their front porch until we sold the house after they had both passed away.  It now hangs over the back door of my home.

Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!!  Today is the last day to enter.  Giveaway is tomorrow!!

Till next time, Judy


  1. Thank you for sharing your charming story. I've always wondered about your blog title.


  2. That's such a sweet story, and funny that I was thinking yesterday...how did she get that name for her blog.

    Amazing that so many people could fit into what we now consider a small space....

    Love abounds.


  3. That is a sweet story about how you blog got its name, and your sister got the name of Jane. Not Spot!

  4. Oh how nice to have such history to share! Great things can come out of small places!

  5. I'm ready for a small house myself :)
    What a sweet story.

  6. Judy, I love the story of your home and family. Almost as many kids as us. When I got married, I didn't know I didn't have to sleep at the foot of the bed. lol. xoxo,Susie

  7. Oh Judy, what a wonderful story and what wonderful memories. 57 years in the same home for Christmas Eve, I can't begin to imagine all of the warmth and love that was in the home. Thanks for sharing your story and your memories with us <3

  8. It is so lovely to have roots like that. Have a great day.

  9. That's a beautiful story, I loved reading it. 20 North Ora was indeed a very special place. Thanks for sharing about it - Mary

  10. Enjoyed reading the story behind your blog name.
    Freezing rain today - bring on Spring.:)

  11. What sweet memories! Thank you for sharing. Have a happy day!

  12. What a wonderful story! I grew up in and around Oklahoma City and our daughter's address is Vinita so I'm very familiar with Pryor. I love that you used that address for your blog name. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Sweet Judy. I would be tempted to call Jane Spot on occasion:}

  14. Oh, Judy! That is a wonderful story. I would have love to have had a lovely childhood and loving family like yours! I'm sure that is part of why you ware such a wonderful, giving person. I know that not many people in blogland know about your tireless helping of people who need you. Thanks for the heartwarming story!

    Cheery wave from

  15. I loved reading this story! Four daughters! Just like me and my sisters. It's crazy when people think women didn't "work" in those days. My mother was one of the hardest working women ever and I bet yours was too. But I do remember that she always paced herself and sat down to read a book in the afternoon. And listened to radio soaps while she ironed!

    We had one bathroom too. How did we ever manage it?

  16. That is a wonderful story, Judy. so glad to hear you didn't name your baby sister Spot. lol and your story was multiplied many many times over in this country during that time. Somehow we were then satisfied with small houses and large families. Now it's the other way around. Pretty sad.

    AND, wanted to let you know that I'm having a 4 HomemadeSoapnSuch Valentine Soap Sachet Giveaway - on now through Friday. Hope you'll stop in at Cranberry Morning and enter. :-)

  17. P.S. And please enter me in your giveaway! :-) Thank you!

  18. Judy that is such a sweet story. I love that you named your blog something that means so much to you!! I love the names of your sisters and glad you didn't name her Spot! Hugs, Linda

  19. I enjoyed reading about 20 North Ora. It touched my heart that you kept the name and address plaque. Do the present homeowners permit you to come and visit your Mom and Dad's house? A friend of mine has made acquaintances of the various people who have lived in her family home, so she can go back and see it sometimes. The elephant ears are so pretty.

    How did so many of us manage to grow up in homes with one bathroom for many people and two bedrooms? I don't remember one bathroom being a problem except for when we would all get home from a trip at the same time; even then it wasn't that big of a deal. Our current home only has one bathroom. Just not a problem. Never has been.
    Great post!

  20. That is an awesome story! I just always assumed that 20 North Ora was your current home address. I love the part of the story too, where you named your baby sister. :-)

  21. What a beautiful story, Thanks so much for sharing it!!

    God Bless~

  22. Judy, you should turn what you described into a short story. Your memories are very poignant and give me goose bumps:)

  23. Great memories!!!! Family should always be our pillar of strenght.


  24. What a special story and a special name. I especially loved reading about you naming your sister. :-)

  25. What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing it. A simple happy life:)

  26. I love hearing the story of your home and blog name. Thank you for sharing! It reminds me of the home I grew up in since 1955.. and my parents lived there for almost 50 years... and we had MANY HAPPY MEMORIES there. I don't think I missed but maybe one Christmas there due to bad weather and living too far away to get there. But me and my three sisters (just like you!) always made it there for Christmas if we could, along with our kids.

    In one of your recent posts, you showed some dishes that were your mom's, plate and little crocheted potholder. Those could have been MY mom's!!!! She always had things like that around the house, and today, I have many of her little treasures. She passed in 2001 and my dad passed 3 weeks later. They had been married for 59 years!

    What precious memories I have of my childhood and growing up years. It is good for us to keep treasures that belonged to our parents... and they give us such comfort.

  27. Judy, I love this story, and I love that you named your baby sister Jane after the character in your reader.
    Thank you for visiting me on 34th street.



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