Over time I hope to add many more pictures inside and outside Courtland Avenue, along with related recipes and memories.

Posted 6/21/2020

My Uncle Bob shared this photo with his father, John Mattei and his Nono Liva drinking home brew in the backyard at Courtland Avenue. This quintessential photo of my grandfather and great-grandfather takes me back to this place on Courtland where I spent many a day with family helping to pick ripened tomatoes and vegetable. Crab apples were gathered from the neighbors tree for jelly making. This small plot, looking huge to a ten year old, is where in the fall, my brother, Mike, & me, would earn quarters dragging buckets of mashed grapes to the garden to be used as fertilizer for the next years crops. There was a rhythm to life back then, and yet, seasonal routines quickly disappeared as the family grew and everyone could afford to buy all the items grown and made at home at the grocery store. Some, like my brother, Mike, still makes wine. Many of us continue to plant small kitchen gardens but the efforts are a hobby now versus a necessity.

wine press

Wine press looking something like my Grandfather's press

Grandma's Garden

Courtland Avenue Garden circa 1953

gold bottle caps
bottle capper

Bottles, caps & cap presser (above right) that we used as kids to cap tomato sauce made with ripe garden tomatoes. There were two store rooms: one for the Liva family and one for my grandparent's family. By fall the cellar rooms were store full with wine, brew, tomato sauces, jelly and canned vegetables and potatoes. There were also one or two prosciuttos and other cured meats hanging around.

Posted 2/23/2020

Teresa and Mattei Kids

(L-R) Teresa, my sister, MJ, me and brother, Mike

WOW! It must have been a hell of hot day with the three of us without our shirts although we're all wearing socks and heavy shoes, good figure?! I also get a kick out of her tennis shoes! I love this picture as it's exactly how I remember Teresa in my mind, even today. Look at the garden in July, it is flowing over. The chicken coop in the background holds fond memories as we played in there on summer days to escape the hot sun.

Remembered here is my first cousins (once removed), Teresa Liva along with a few fleeting memories. Also see her sister Mary, only five years my elder, below.


Children of Innocent and Teresa
July 17, 1955

Mary had a small 45 RPM recorder player simliar to the one pictured to the one picture to the left. I can recall her teaching me to jitterbug in the basement on Courtland, pushing the ringer washer to the side to make room to dance. I have no recollection of any of the songs. Maybe she'll she'll remember.

RCA Victor's new 45-RPM phonograph & records. Finest Quality reproduction at low cost in history of Industry credited to new system; first single disc size for all pops and classics. Undated photo. (AP Photo)

The wringer-washer pictured right is my best remembrance of grandma's machine. My great grandfather Liva and my grandfather had laid a cement ramp in front of the basement wash tub where grandma rolled up the washer to fill. I did watch her wash from time to time and she told me once about getting her hand caught in the wringer, although I believe the model she had when I was young had a safety instant-stop feature. The whole washing process with this type of washer seemed to take forever but as grandma once shared, "it's better than boiling the clothes like I used to do." I'm sure she was right about that!

wringer washer

The picture to the right was taken in 1977, Zio Fonso died in 1972. Front right (seat) is Zia Maria and seated to her left is Mary. In back, L-R, Mary's husband, Jack, Teresa and her husband, Dick. The picture was taken in the second floor Courtland kitchen where I first enjoyed the taste of Zia's unique SPAGHETTI SOUP.

Maria, Mary & Teresa

(Posted 11/2020)

READ family memories below.
The emails have been edited to remove last names of living relatives and for readablity.

If you have any pictures or memories from Courtland Avenue, please email them to and they'll be included on this scrapbook page.

NOTE: While the family renovated Courtland Avenue after they moved in, they were not the first owners.

Courtland Today
Transfer History
Year Selling Price Sale Date
2019 168,000 7/18/2019
2017 139,000 8/30/2017
2016 8,000 10/21/2016
2015 7,000 6/11/2015
2013 3,000 10/2/2013
2013 5,850 3/18/2013
2013 26,000 1/9/2013
2004 88,000 6/16/2004
1989 unknown 7/1/1989
1978 unknown 6/1/1978


First Email Teresa sent out July, 2017

KathieR, (daughter of Teresa and DickG) who is in real estate, was able to get MaryN, Chelsea,(Kathie's daughter) and I in to see the house on Courtland.  The man next door who lives in Brevort's house and is in the painting business owns 1730. He is the one who gutted the house and re-did it.  Mary and I had a lot of fun sharing memories of our lives living there.  We could write a book. When we went to look at the back yard, we just looked at each other.  We thought it had shrunk.  Even though we were grown women (I was 24) when we left there, our memories of the yard were those of young children.  We remembered it as being much, much bigger.  The seller is trying to get $143,000 for it.  With no garage and all those steps............hmmmmmmmmmmm    Love to all Teresa



The biggest bang on this 4th of July is the renovation of the old homestead at 1730 Courtland Avenue.  Someone saved it from the wrecking ball and flipped it.  It is beautiful!!  If you go on line to Comey and Shepherd Realtors and type in the address along with Hamilton County and Norwood it will pull up a virtual tour of the exterior and interior.  They are asking $143,000.  I hope you wilI show it to your dad. Personally I’m thrilled that the house lives on and new owners will cherish and make memories in it.

In one of those nostalgic moods, I drove down to look at the house a couple of weeks ago.. The gentleman who was restoring it was just leaving and gave me the go ahead to look around from the outside.

I could almost smell the strawberries Zia (Maria) planted and the tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh vegetables that grew along the side by the train. There was no sign of the old chicken coop but the yard was full of memories.

I peeked in the window and was a little sad to see that the tile floors were gone. I think I will have to watch for an open house and see if I can hear the echoes of Nona and Zia calling up/down the stairs to each other.

When Edamarie drove us there (Courtland Ave) about a dozen years ago, a renter allowed us a walk inside. Seeing the rooms in amazing shape, (it) was nostalgic-

Tiles were perfect on the floors and walls (a stack of unused tiles which were left over from the kitchen & we took four, one of which Rie & the grandchildren fashioned into a ceramic pizza using the 1730 tile as the cheese! So even tho'the Jersey only got to Cincinnati once a year, their memories also are special! Nonna and Zia made the most delicious meals for them, shared stories about their earlier escapades with 4 boys and 2 girls living in that house with them, their husbands & Grandpa Liva! I can hear their laughter as tho' it just happened!

I never could climb all those steps today! Even then the steps were perfect outside! Those men knew construction! I think the house was built about '28 (actually built in 1900 according to county auditor)

So happy that Nonna allowed us to take a few of her Iris plants which I enjoy each spring as well as the sage which was from their garden!

Practical Nonna was visibly touched when those NJ grandchildren sat around that neat little kitchen of hers and told her that her ravioli was the best in the world! I am glad that the house is still standing even tho' the new buyers will not know how hard those men worked to build it all those years ago. If the walls could talk we'd hear the accented voices of the first residents and the proud American born first children whose hardworking parents taught them lifelong appreciation of this country. This in-law is ever grateful to have known and loved and admired her mother-in-law whose life in Italy was so very difficult and not much better during the Great Depression - but was able to form a special bond with her sister-in-law! They shared good times as well as bad so that in their old age their respect for each other was evident to me always! I was grateful that Nonna was able to live to see her sons grow into the marvelous men they became making her proud and delighting her with 19 grandchildren she loved!

She used her skills always to make clothing, pillows (even drapes and curtains for some) and proudly taught some interested granddaughters those same skills! All of her sons learned to cook too! I was most appreciative to have a husband teach me to make pasta also. Now the younger generation is taking on the reigns! God is good!

So grateful for the strong  resourceful grandmother who built our fathers' family and for the older cousins who preserve this history we never got enough of.

Love the line from the Hamilton mix tape, immigrants, America's ghost writers - what a treasure they built (Courtland Ave) and how funny to see it cleaned up and renovated with all the flavor gone. Thank you for saving the flavor in your words!

I'm so touched reading these emails (about 1730 Courtland).  Our history as a family lives so vibrantly in my everyday thinking, eating, and love for life.  I am so very grateful to out dear Nona and Zia (Maria).  I lost them so young but I am still left with the best memories. I can remember everything about that wonderful home.  It is almost strange how clear my memory is remembering their home and them! Feeling you and miss all of you!