Once upon a time …
Your story might begin with what led you and your family to call a mobile home your own. Then it could progress to how you’ve spent the time you lived there. Next, add details like when you added new members to the ranks of your family. Also, fill in the story with details of happy memories you’ve made there. And recognize that the story continues in your day-to-day life.
Long, long ago…
When discussing the history of something, it never hurts to ask, “how far back do we go in our consideration?” Mary Bellis traced the origin of mobile homes back to the gypsies, hundreds of years ago (the 16th century, actually).
However, for our purposes, that’s going a little too far back! Bellis’ next statement strikes a little closer to home for us. “In America, the first mobile homes were built in the 1870s. These were movable beach-front properties built in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina.”
Ordinarily, we envision mobile homes being moved by vehicles. Conversely, the 19th-century mobile homes that Bellis mentioned had a much less modern conveyance. She says they were pulled by horses.
The origin of mobile homes: change isn’t always bad
Of course, change isn’t always a bad thing! Now, we may not always enjoy it. But, if we don’t want progress to come to a standstill forever, something’s got to give. Fortunately, mobile homes have changed over time.
Chances are, you wouldn’t want the gypsy version of these homes to be your house today. Whatever those homes looked like, it’s probably safe to say they couldn’t really match up to what we’ve got today.
One of the major changes that occurred in the great saga of mobile homes came about in the 50’s. After the war, mobile homes were marketed as affordable dwellings. They were set up and left for a long period of time in one location, sometimes even placed permanently on a foundation. So, if you’re living in a permanent set-up, your home might be a living, breathing example of this change.
The story of your mobile home includes the growing up that was done there. Perhaps, it was yourself growing out of childhood there. Or maybe it’s your own children slowly turning into teens, then adults.
Not quite as mobile
But, even growth in the story of your own mobile home probably has pros and cons. If you’ve had kids since moving in, that’s a delightful addition to your family’s story. However, you also know that a growing family fills up space more. For you, growth may mean sharing bedrooms or even remodeling the place to keep up with the family changes.
For mobile homes, as we just mentioned, growth has affected one of their essential elements – mobility. With the change of name from mobile to “manufactured,” these homes took on new shapes and sizes and with that, more permanency as well.
Yet, this idea of pros and cons can be explained as a tradeoff. With more space, mobile homes may have sacrificed some mobility. However, if you love the size of your mobile home, you likely consider that loss of mobility worth it.
And here we are today
Today’s mobile homes may not look like the abodes of gypsies. Similarly, they’ve probably changed a lot since the dwellings that were pulled by horses. But, today’s mobile homes can be intriguing in their own ways.
Thinking about energy efficiency
If you’re thinking about energy efficiency, then maybe that horse-drawn home sounds like a good idea. But in the 21st century, we’re a little concerned about the feasibility that. How about shooting for energy efficiency in a different way? Check out our efficiency ideas and our list of energy efficient mobile homes.
Today’s mobile homes
Excitingly, your mobile home’s history does not have to be its destiny. If you’ve got a hammer and a DIY-mind, you can change your home. Though we suggest you try to move forward, not backward. No harnessing a team of horses to move your home, please.
Don’t let the humble origin of mobile homes make you feel down on these abodes. Your mobile home can be a place that you care about and enjoy. It can be a place to delight in decorating, to remodel, or to add on to. Enjoy knowing a little about the origin of mobile homes as you continue to live your own home’s story!