Sunday, October 5, 2008

historic preservation

Based on conversations with locals, we believe our house was built in the latter half of the 19th century. The original supports consist of rock piles and timber. That's right -- rocks stacked up with no mortar, and tree trunks or branches, in some cases with the bark still on.

We're investing in a bigger wood burning stove, so we wanted to be certain the floor would support the weight. Harry, who rents our old house in the city, drove up to help Lee bolster the house. Leah and Neal played together nicely while I napped after a nine mile run. Every now and then I heard voices drifting from under the house, and then, suddenly, I heard rather loud, rather freaked out sounding voices. Fearing the worst (whatever that was), I quickly shifted from halfway asleep to fully awake and began mentally listing the things it could be. I will not list those things here. They are too weird. As it happens, the thing it was is pretty weird, too. There are hundreds -- hundreds -- of big, old, glass jars beneath the house.

Back in the day, there was no garbage service (we were actually quite relieved to learn that we have it now), no way of storing that many jars inside for re-use, and no way of disposing of any excess. It's possible they were using the crawl space as a root cellar, in which case they would have stored vegetables and preserves there. I've been reading about root cellars lately -- perhaps it's something we can add to our long list of homesteading to-do's.

There was too much other work to do to add fruit jar removal to the list, and we don't have enough storage space above ground, so we'll leave them be for now, saving the excavation for another day.


Allison said...

Tooo Cool! I love finding stuff that people leave behind and piecing together their story. We'll have to come check them out.

countrypeapie said...

Definitely! We are back from Tennessee and would love to see y'all.

sunvarmit said...

It reminded me of the scene from Star Wars where Luke gets pulled under by something in the trash compactor. Only we weren't saving a princess, we were building a hearth. And we weren't in another galaxy far, far away, but under the was spooky.