Some more Sanborn Maps Info
Boy, oh boy what a buzz I started....
I don't know about other states, but here in Ohio we have the "Ohio Public Library Information Network" located at www.oplin.org. If you have a current Ohio Public Library card you can go to this site, click research databases, enter your card # and locate the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps link. I can ONLY access Ohio maps though and not owning property in other states I have not had the desire to look elsewhere. I would suggest that you check with the genealogy department at your local library to see if they have access to similar databases. While you are there , see if they have old street directories because once you find out who the previous owners were, then you can research them and possibly find a descendant. That is how I was able to get pictures of the Edgars and Volkenands for our house.
The maps are really worth a look though, especially if you know that additions were made to your house because they could give you an idea as to when they were made because the maps were updated every 20 years or so. From ours we learned that prior to 1955 there was an additional structure on our property that was larger than the garage. We suspect it was an old carriage shed and it explained why our retaining wall at the back of the property has a section that looks different.
Otherwise they give you a glimpse into the past and show you what existed before expressways and strip malls became all the rage! Good luck. I kind of hinted in my first post that this might not be an easy thing to access.