Monday, August 01, 2005

This Old, Weird House

When you live in a house that someone resided in before you, it has a history. Even if it's only a few years old. If your home is 100+ years old, well then, the walls would have some stories to tell if only they could talk. Ours haven't started yet, thank goodness, but I recently got the chance to speak with a woman who once lived here with her family, many, many years ago. Here are a few interesting tidbits I picked up during that talk:

* The wide, stone pillar in the backyard was once the footing to the old barn you see in this picture of our house taken in 1958. That footing formed part of a little niche that served as a holding spot for cow manure. They would fill it until they couldn't fill it anymore and then finally remove it. What's brown and sounds like a bell? Dung!

*The hilly area you see here at the right of the picture was the "night pasture" for the cows. During the day they roamed a larger section of farmland and then at night they were brought here so they could be milked first thing in the morning. To this day we are still are tripping over remnants of barbed wire fencing out in the field.

*Our front, metal storm door is very old! It has been here for as long as any one knows.

*There used to be a long window on the front porch side of the kitchen. It's now a little one that doesn't get much of a breeze. There also used to be a door from the kitchen that went right out to the front porch. We already knew that. What gave it away was the boarded-up door frame the previous owner didn't bother to drywall over. Makes a lovely frame for the fridge, anyway!

*Mary, the daughter of the second to last owner of the home was born in our office! It had once been her mother's bedroom. Hmmm.I'm glad we refinished those floors...

*Mary's father also planted the big maple near our mailbox and constructed the lovely built-in armoire in our guest bedroom. Good job! Sorry I switched out the hardware. Please don't be mad!

There are many more strange stories about the place, some of which I'll give Ernie the chance to tell on his blog. I wished I had asked Mary about the many pieces of polished granite that we keep finding in the ground and broken along the old stone wall down near the lower yard. I'm wondering if a previous owner worked in one of the Barre quarries and had access to this stuff?? I wish we could find a solid slab of it to make a new countertop for the kitchen. Perhaps if we keep digging...

If anyone has strange stories about their homes' previous lives, please share! And if you know any practical uses for 3 inch pieces of polished granite, do tell!

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