My House and its Mysterious Hole

I was not always a Long Beach resPicture of the Houseident. I spent my early childhood years in Hong Kong, a vibrant and a rather fast paced environment, and later in South Pasadena, a quiet and small city where everybody knows everybody. Two years ago, my family and I moved to Long Beach. A little background information about my house: it is old. To be exact, it is 85 years old. Built in 1931, the place I now call home survived the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. This earthquake took place on March 10 at 5:54 p.m. and the epicenter was on the Newport-Inglewood Fault. Since the earthquake had a moment magnitude of 6.4, the damage to the buildings was widespread throughout California. It was almost a miracle that the house did not fall apart and remained the way it is now. When I first moved in, I grew curious of the existence of a hole by the side of my house (see picture attached). This hole does have a platform, where one fit through his or her hand. The family before us left a tiny statue of what appears to be Joseph and his lambs on Christmas night, with St. Mary and baby Jesus missing from the scene. This prompted me to think that the hole existed for religious purposes and nothing else.

Recently, I was having a talk with my neighbor, who owns the house next door. His house was built in 1930, and our The Holehouse looks almost identical from the outside if color doesn’t count as a factor. While we were talking about the construction of the houses on our neighborhood, our conversation moved on to the mysterious hole on the side of the house. This was when I found out that the hole serves for one only: milk. In the 1920s and 1930s, glass-bottled milk was the norm, and milkman would make deliveries to homes. Originally, milk needed to be delivered to houses daily since the lack of good refrigeration meant it would quickly spoil. In some areas, a small cabinet would be built into the house, which was the case of my house. With an exterior wall along with doors on both sides, milk or groceries could be placed into the “hole” by a milkman, and then collected by the homeowner. However, the near-ubiquity of refrigerators in homes in the past half-century has decreased the need for frequent milk delivery, which means that very few will need milk delivery services.

With this new-learned knowledge, I grew appreciative of the times I spend at home and occasionally wonder whether there may be other pieces of history waiting for my discovery. I also remember occasionally drinking milk from glass containers when I was young. Sometimes I do wish to go back in time and try to drink a “glass” of milk (Haha get it?). So, have you ever consumed milk from glass bottles? Do you think it tastes different than the ones from plastic containers? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Elvin Mabborang

    This was a pretty dope read and reinforces why I love Long Beach — there’s so many historic spots, and the homes themselves serve as artifacts as well!

  2. Katarina Stiller

    That’s really interesting! I figured back in the day milk bottles got dropped off at the front door, I didn’t know milk was so special as to get their own door in some homes. Broguiere’s milk comes in glass bottles. I’ve had their chocolate milk and eggnog before for special occasions. It. tastes. incredible. Super rich, creamy, and fresh. There is no equal. (At least from what can be found in a SoCal supermarket).

  3. Anaid Gonzalez

    That is so interesting! I also live in an old house but did not have anything interesting added to the house sadly. I wonder if the milk was delivered at a certain time, such as during the night so the cold air could help ensure the freshness. It is so nice to get to have a special part of history in your own home.


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