little yellow house

The house where the children fled

photo credit: Vivian Lee from

photo credit: Vivian Lee from

This week marks the one year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut. (December 14, 2012)

One of the stories of hope that came out of that terrible day was the story of the little yellow house down the street from the school.

This is where a group of first grade children fled after escaping the gunman and witnessing the death of their teacher (Victoria Soto) and many of their fellow classmates.

The small story-and-a-half historic home with green shutters is owned by a man named Gene Rosen.

Mr. Rosen is a 69-year old retired psychologist and grandfather.

image from:

image from:

Rosen told reporters that on the fateful morning, he had just finishing feeding his cats and was heading out to visit a local diner for breakfast. As he was going down his driveway, he noticed a small group of children huddled in a neat semi-circle at the end of his driveway. A school bus driver had seen them too and pulled over.

We can’t go back to school,” one of the children cried, “Our teacher is dead!

The kids recounted the unthinkable carnage they had just witnessed. This was the first time Mr. Rosen had learned of the school shooting – he told reporters he had indeed heard gun shots earlier but just assumed it was some hunters in the woods.

The school bus driver took down the names of the children and proceeded to radio their information to headquarters where the staff would try for the next several hours to track down the children’s stricken parents.

In the meantime, Mr. Rosen invited the children into his cozy home on that chilly December day.

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Melissa’s little sunburst house

image courtesy of Melissa

Today I am featuring a very special house. Melissa’s 500 square foot house in Denver, Colorado may be small in stature but it is loaded with family history and precious memories. You see, it has been in her family since the 1930’s.

I first saw Melissa’s house featured on the Tiny House Blog and was instantly smitten with the cute 1916 cottage and the fact that Melissa inherited it from her grandmother. I contacted Melissa and asked her for more information. She not only had an amazing story to share, she had old family photos of the home.

I’ll let Melissa tell the house’s story in her own words…

photo courtesy of Melissa

Located in Denver, CO my house has so much rich family history!  My grandparents moved into the house in 1936.  They came from Corsica, SD and picked Colorado because the doctor said the climate would be good for my grandfather’s asthma.  They moved with my grandma’s two sisters, and my uncle, who was an infant at them time.  My Grandmother was also pregnant with their second child. 

photo courtesy of Melissa

Previous to them moving in, the house only had 2 owners that I know of – the original builder and a lady who bought the house for rental property.  Even that must be an interesting story – a lady in the early 30’s owning property all around the Denver area as rental income!  As far as I could tell she did not live in the house.  My grandmother would tell me stories about how dirty the house was when they moved in.  I guess no one had lived in it for a while!  They quickly made it a home and began farming all the land around it.  At the time, the railroad owned the land to the south and up until the early 80’s they ran trains.

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~ House Crazy Sarah ~

Sarah Felix Burns

"So many houses, so little time"

My first novel

JACKFISH - The Vanishing Village

My second novel

Song Over Quiet Lake