The Avery House

The Avery House

When we initially purchased the little pink bungalow on 44th St. it was important to me that we discover more about the home’s past. Which frankly (no pun intended) seemed fairly easy to do, since we didn’t really know much about the home – except for some of the neighborhood stories that we had been told. Fast forward a couple years, and it seemed like we had pieced a lot together… Frank Avery had finished building the home in 1920, he was a citrus farmer, when he passed away in 1938 he left the home – and some additional personal property – to his close friend George Speer. But all that we had learned seemed fairly surface… nothing dug in further. What was Frank really like? Where did he come from and what did he do with his life? Why Phoenix? And why citrus?

One of the best decisions we’ve made in the past few years was to recently hire Roger Brevoort and Donna Reiner to help with our Historic Register application. The application would require a deeper narrative with richer content capable of securing the blessings of the powers-to-be on both the City of Phoenix level and State of Arizona level before making it’s journey to Washington D.C. to test it’s mettle on the Federal level. If all three levels are to give us the nod of satisfaction, then voila, we’d be listed on the Historic Register and have that coveted plaque next to the front door. So… Roger and Donna seemed like just the right people to embark on this journey with.

By means not fully known to me, but seemingly of magical proportions, and possibly including and maybe not being limited to those special places where books and scanned archives live in their physical form… better known as libraries… (sometimes Google just doesn’t cut it folks…)…. Roger and Donna have pieced together a fascinating narrative for our Historic Register application! Of which, I will discontinue rambling by way of typing and just share with you all a few fascinating items that have been discovered…

Yes… 44th St. used to be named Chicago Avenue. Which is amazing.
This may be one of my favorite articles found… “he flew even lower until it seemed to the spectators that he was missing fence posts by inches”. Early media sensationalism at its finest!
Frank was an impressive man.
He was part of the Arizona Citrus Growers’ Association creation and early expansion efforts.
Yup… for all you Arcadia residents… Ingleside should ring a bell.
George Speer was Frank’s very close friend and right-hand-man. They seemed to have an almost father-son type relationship with Frank being much older than George.

Should you want to read an amazingly concise version of all this research in to the life of Frank Avery, Donna wrote a fantastic feature that you can read here.

I’m incredibly grateful to have pieced together more of the Frank Avery story. On one hand this discovery excites me, but on another hand it fuels me with the sense that there’s more out there left to be discovered.

Until next time,



About the Author

Me? Well, I’m Austin King and I’m your captain. I co-founded Rafterhouse in late 2012 and it’s been a wild ride ever since. I cherish what I do and feel blessed to get to wake up every day and do what I love. I live in the Arcadia area with my beautiful wife, Suzanne, and three sweet kids – Lily, Oliver, and Hazel. If you see me around, say hi.