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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Secrets Under The Wallpaper

We made some more progress on the downstairs renovation project this weekend and stripped all the wallpaper off in the parlor/future "girly sitting room". Lo and behold, more house history was revealed. Not a mural this time, but what appears to be a chimney flue. We had always marveled that our house doesn't have a fireplace, and this provides a clue as to how the house was heated in the early days. It appears that there was a wood stove hooked up in the parlor at one time:

It even looks like piece of the flue is still embedded in the wall.

Another interesting tidbit was revealed when my mom first laid eyes on the murals in the DR...she immediately determined that there had been some significant changes made to the walls, based on the murals themselves as well as the skim coated areas. You can see in the picture below that there was most likely a closet to the left of the main doorway. At some point it was closed up & the same closet space was made to open up to the foyer (as it does now).

Additionally, she realized that the french door opening between the DR and the parlor is not original. Look at the mural in the picture below...the doorway clearly cuts off half a mural, and the mini panel in the top left is identical to those above the other single doorways.
In fact the skim coating in the pic below makes me wonder if there was another wood stove there (the chimney hookup discovered in the parlor is on the other side of that same wall).

It's all very interesting, as there have been a number of details that made us wonder what was done when. We have pictures of the dining room as early as the 1940's, and in those the layout is the same as it is today. Steven hypothesized that maybe the current DR was actually the original kitchen, and only with the upgrade to a steam heating system (when?) were the doorways opened up and the current kitchen (the whole back section of the house?) added on. Possibly...

It would be interesting to dig up some of this info. Did people pull building permits in the early decades of the 20th century???

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