The Little House | VideoAlan Miller | 1/30/2013
This neighborhood on North Eleventh Street looks pretty typical. That is, until you take a turn and see a tiny place set way back from the other houses. The homeowners were a bit camera shy, so they had their neighbor show me around what could very well be the smallest house in Bismarck.
"Here you have the living room, kitchen, dining room, fan on the ceiling," said neighbor Tom Fitzimmons.
It amounts to 336 square feet on the upper level. It`s been recently refurbished, and from this vantage point, looks more like an apartment than a house. In the 34 years that he`s lived right around the corner, Tom has seen a lot of tenants come and go.
"One day, the kid tried to smuggle two dobermans inside of a rug. That was it for Mr. Reidebaugh. He evicted them. Another time we looked out the window, and here one of the guys that lived in the house was stretched out over the hood of a car. There was a detective had a gun in his back. I don`t know what the story was. I think it was drugs."
If you`re wondering why in the world anyone would build a house this small, you have to go back to 1926. That`s when the owner of a neighboring house had this one built for his mother. They could live close together but apparently, they couldn`t live under the same roof.
"And maybe didn`t want to live with the daughter-in-law. Maybe the daughter-in-law didn`t want her to live with her. So that`s how she ended up here," Fitzimmons said.
There is more to this house. Go downstairs and there`s another 168 square feet, for a total of 504. Combine all this with yard space in the back and in the front, and you have a comfortable place where few people would even notice you. Unless they know where to look.
Right after we shot that story, a tenant moved in. So now it`s home sweet home for someone who doesn`t need a lot of space.