52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 39:
Family Finds Charter Oak

Steps, Stairs and Stoops

For this week’s prompt I thought I’d share some favorite family photos that include steps. While writing this post I discovered the term “stairs” typically refers to a collection of steps in a stairwell. With that definition in mind, just one of my photos can be called stairs. I then discovered a “stoop” is a set of steps terminating at a landing in front of a door. So, most the pictured steps here are really stoops: front-, side- and back-door varieties. Who knew, there was so much to know about steps?

Old Photos

Here’s a sampling of various family members on steps. The oldest one here is un-dated, but I believe it was about 1902. My great grandfather lived with his sister Sarah Osborne Roseboom, and her husband BF Roseboom, after his discharge from the Civil War.

Steps Collage 1

Cute Kids

I really like this old photo of my uncle and aunt sitting on my grandmother’s stoop with my sister Susan in 1950. Such cute kids! I’ve colorized it to help it really pop.

Bolton Avenue

Here’s a collection of images of the front door stoop of the house I grew up in on Bolton Avenue in Indianapolis. In 1969, my sister Susan had an old VW Bug (a 1961 I think) that she had painted a bold yellow at the Earl Sheib. Rather than park on the street, she backed up the driveway and parked on the porch. Our cat really liked sitting on top of the car, he could stare in the front window at us!

Steps Collage 2


Here’s a photo of our cat, Tippy, sitting on the backdoor stoop. He was a mischievous cat, in and out of scrapes. The other photo here is my two cats, Emily and Charlotte, when they were kittens. I adopted them after I graduated from college and this photo was when they were learning to climb the stairs. They were sisters and were with me for 23 and 22 years, respectively, living in 3 states: IN, AZ and FL.

1975 Tippy
1983 Emily & Charlotte


I hope you enjoyed this sampling of family photos featuring steps, stoops and stairs. One last item I’ll share is a memory my mother has involving steps, a stairway in this case.

When my mother was just 5 years old she received a new doll for Christmas. She was so proud of the doll she wanted to show it to everyone. She asked her grandmother if she could go upstairs to show the doll to the couple who boarded with them. After showing the boarders her new doll, my mother tripped on the stair and dropped the doll. The doll’s head, which was porcelain, was damaged, but only the back of the head. My mother recalls the boarder being very sympathetic and suggested leaving the dolls bonnet on and no one would know the head was broken. This photo is my mother at age 5 with her grandmother and the boarder in front of their home in South Bend, IN. The photo is undated, but given the snow on the ground it may have been taken about the same time as this memory.

1930 Ella Betty Boarder


  1. Cheryl Schulte

    What a clever “take” on the topic of Steps. I really enjoyed your photos.

    • Barb

      Thanks for the kind comment, Cheryl!


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Remember Me and I Will Live

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

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My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

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Rumple Family Photo 1895

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