Bores At The Boarding House


It’s one of those things
we barely think
about these days,
but a surprisingly large part
of the population
in the United States
once lived in boarding houses.hash

About the only time
most of us encounter
them now is at the
‘bed and breakfast’ —

and when we hear
the term ‘boarding house’
we might think in terms
of the run-down
‘rooming-house’ —

the kinda place
like where the Blues Brothers-
Jake and Elwood Blues lived…..

that is, until Carrie Fisherstarboarder
blasted the place to shit
with a bazooka.

watch the
whole movie, man.


The communal style
of life in a boarding house
was, for our predecessors
in the 19th and early 20th century,
especially unmarried
working people,
very commonplace indeed.

And there were soup
boarding houses
for all kinds of people –
— not just transients.

Some high society folks lived in
boarding houses —
like O. Henry
and Sherlock Holmes.

One could find boarding houses

that offered three meals a day,
room and board, laundry,
and all the comforts of home.

Of course, there werea1
codes of conduct
that one would have to observe —

— something they used
to call ‘manners’ —
(which they don’t seem
to teach a lot anymore)
and each house had
it’s own specific rules
about visitors, meals, etc.

One hard and fast rule
that was almost universal
was about mealtimes —

When the hostess rang the bell,
you came a runnin’ — a2
— or you went hungry.

It actually sounds
like my house when
I was growing up.

The wolves would eat even
the bowls if you let em.

these cards lampoon the
golden age of boarding house
table manners….
and date from around 1910.

!!! HOY !!!!






8 thoughts on “Bores At The Boarding House

  1. These BH manner cards are fun! 😀
    Cool part of history! Didn’t know that about O. Henry…he’s one of my fav short story writers!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  2. ktz2 says:

    Some of those olden-days houses, and shops too, had signs that said NO IRISH. . ggrrr

  3. julespaige says:

    I just remember the phrase “boarding house reach” while growing up.
    Basically at an informal table you grabbed what you wanted before it was all gone or you lost out. In a polite way – as we were taught some manners and said ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’.

    I’m still working at teaching my grandchildren manners. (They have some…) If they have a tantrum at my home, the toy(s) they are playing with gets taken away for the rest of the time they are here. Most often they are ‘good’ these days. But once in a while I have to reinforce the rule that Grama don’t take no bull.

  4. I thought the old man in the first picture was pointing a gun! haha

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