Friday, March 31, 2023

I Spy With My Little Eye

 

Red commented that you find a lot of neat stuff in an old house. 

Truth. 

These are the grates for the heating vents. 

Tim replaced all the ductwork, and these grates will be reused. 



The old doors with their skeleton keys. 

The door knobs will have to be taken apart and sprayed with WD-40 
to free up the locking mechanisms. 


These old push button lights will be replaced, but they are sweet, aren't they?


A stack of calendars. This is from May 1891. 
My birthday fell on a Thursday that year. 


Another shot of the livingroom. You can see the fire place, and the ceiling, as well as the entrance from the hall. We have a pretty cool art deco fire screen that we found at a yard sale. See all of that stuff in front? Indoor grills, cookware, charbeque. That's our next load out to Goodwill. We are moving their stuff out, our building supplies in. 

36 comments:

  1. Oh, those calendars with their beautiful pictures! The beautiful ceiling beams, too. Love the pushbutton lights. It all looks so interesting. Thank you for sharing this home with us!

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  2. You could put the calendar pictures in picture frames.

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    1. How funny, Northsider. You and I had the very same idea. Sue has her little plates for every month, such beautiful things. I was looking at this particular calendar and thinking the same thing, that I could make them part of a little display, changed monthly.

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  3. That house has beautiful bones. I'm sure it will be amazing when you two are done with it.

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    1. It certainly is. Today we begin ripping off the outdoor siding. We are going to insulate with blown in insulation, and replace the rotted siding with cement board.

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  4. Curious minds want to know what happens when you push those buttons?

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    1. I am going to guess that, as they are right inside the front hall, to the right of the entrance door, one light is for the stairs, one for the hall, one for the foyer, and one for the outside. (We have much the same setup inside the front door of our own old house.) However, I cannot ascertain this for certain. That switch was disconnected during the rewiring. A friend has the old push button lights and they make a spark when he turns them on. This might make a potential buyer a bit nervous.

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  5. It has been awhile since I have seen or used skeleton keys. And those light switches. My goodness.

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    1. To take you back further, at the bottom of the attic stairs their is a switch. It had a switch that you turned, like turning a key in a lock. That too has been lost in the rewiring.

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  6. I've never seen those push button light switches. Amazing. What a talking point they would be if they could be restored.

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    1. I'd be inclined to try it, but Tim is the electrician and he is quite firm that we will not use them since hearing of our neighbor's switches which spark when turned on. (For the record, Marty seemed to find this hilarious and not frightening at all).

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  7. Our first house in Rochester, NY was built in 1916 and had a lot of the same things! The pushbutton electrical things still worked! We had gumwood trim and lots of leaded glass windows and doors. hated to leave it to move to a 1960's ranch in Western Michigan!!

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    1. These also worked, but the house was knob and tube, and so the house was rewired.

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  8. Love that home! My first purchase was many years ago and it had been in the same family for generations. I was only the 2nd owner. Every door, of which there were very many, had a beautiful glass door knob with it's original skeleton in each one. One day, a dear friend came to visit with her five year old daughter. As we sat and chatted the wee girl went back and forth and gradually went throughout entire house, and unknown to us, removed the key from every door! She was putting them aside and finally put them all into her pockets and turned up, so very proud, and presented them all to me as a gift. Turns out they were NOT one size fits all. It took me weeks to figure it out and replace those keys to their proper locks. Bless her little heart. She's 38 years old now and I like to remind her of that hair-raising but funny good memory.

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    1. Our house has the glass door knobs as well! Your little story makes me quite happy that our keys are long gone. How funny!

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  9. Gosh, how I would love to be there with you! I love old houses/stuff- the history is amazing, even if you have to guess who/when/what… local history is so interesting! Best of luck getting it all back together, though it sounds like you’ve got lots of experience!😊Xo, Ricki

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    1. How I'd love to have you here! Tim's found a stack of silver certificates under a lamp which had not been moved for years, a trolley token. Our trolleys seemed to have ceased operations in 1929. There is a box of victorian photos, to include a death photo. A wicker doll carriage. A collection of sad irons. More books than I can shake a stick at. Doing the old rewiring, he found an Indian head penny that had slipped under one of the wide baseboards. It was in mint condition. It was dated 1909. Lots of secrets in that old house, and we are still uncovering them.

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  10. Amazed to see the old push button light switches.

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  11. The house I grew up in had a lock and skeleton key. It was in a small town and we locked the door and hung the key behind a shutter on the porch, if people wanted eggs, milk or whatever and we were not home our friends knew where to find the key, get what they needed and leave the money on the table. There was usually a family living upstairs so they needed the key to get in if we were gone. Are the heat grates in the floor or wall? I used to be afraid to step on one thinking it might fall.

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    1. The grates were removed from the wall. Tim replaced the duct work. It was very old and had been unused for such a long time that the coal residue had eaten through a lot of the old duct work. He installed a modern forced air furnace. What is interesting about this house is that it had heat to the upstairs. A lot of the old houses heated the downstairs. Upstairs, the bedrooms were unheated. Perhaps a grate in the floor to allow the heat from downstairs to flow up stairs.

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    2. Our house had a grate in the upstairs floor bottom ceiling for the heat to go upstairs. The upstairs had 3 fireplaces that worked. It also had a solid cherry winding staircase.

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  12. Modern houses just don't have those details...they are bland boxes

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  13. They used to beautify all sorts of things in the past, even utilitarian things like heating-vent grills. I remember red brick fireplaces like that when I was a child - you never see them nowadays, or indeed any sort of fireplaces!

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    1. That fireplace is a bit of a conundrum to us. I think that it should probably be painted. Tim feels that it should NOT. It definately doesn't look like anything you find in houses today.

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  14. I have a rust coloured brick fireplace and I love it. Friends think it should be painted white but why would anyone do that. The fireplace is what I love about this house. The house i grew up in had a fireplace that got used most nights and we loved sitting there watching the flames. Simple times. My Grandmothers old house had those lightswitches and pocket doors from the library to the hall GG

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    1. Tim adores the pocket doors. It also has a heavy swinging door between the kitchen and the dining room. You and Tim most definately are in agreement about the fireplace.

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  15. One trick I learned awhile ago on some home improvement show. For freeing up old lock mechanisms or removing paint from old brass hardware, nothing is better than putting them in a crockpot with some water and a little dishsoap and letting them "cook" over night. It loosen all the paint and gunk so it just falls off like meat from the bone. Then once they come out and dry, spray them with WD40.

    I love your eye for the old details and am glad you are hanging onto that stuff, or at least making sure it gets reused. I'm in love with the woodwork in that house!

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    1. We are very careful about reusing as much of the old stuff as possible. There is one beautiful piece, the cupboard in the kitchen. It is so wonderful, yet totally impractical. No workspace. The top is only 9 inches deep. The bottom perhaps 15. The doors are wonderful. But it takes up an entire wall, and the kitchen is small. We need something that provides workspace. We both hate to lose it.

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  16. Push button light switches! That's almost as fun as push button gears in an old car! It's a shame you can't still use them.

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    1. Yes, it would be cool, but we need to sell the house.

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  17. Great old details. I love the grates.

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    1. There are a lot of neat old details in that house.

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