Friday, September 29, 2006

Random House History: Repairs

I've posted before about the treasure trove of information we received along with our house. (All we had to do to access it was sort through 75 years worth of accumulation.) I ran across one of those great pieces last night, it's a 3 inch by 6 inch memorandum book that Bess would jot down what she paid for house repairs, and materials along with other tidbits, such as how much fabric it would take to make curtains for 3 kitchen windows and the back door "9 yd a yd wide for two 1 1/4 in hems."

For as organized as Bess was, a big head scratcher is why isn't this thing chronological? It skips around from page to page. I think the earliest dated entry (there are lots without dates) is
April 19, 1932
Pool lot 60.00

I know this refers to the pool that Bess and Helen built in the back yard, but was that the cost of everything? That seems high... They also didn't start digging it until 1933, I thought they had the ground already, maybe they expanded the back yard?

Another favorite is this page:

From the top left it reads:

Mr. Switzer painted
kitchen + cupboards
Aug, 1947 19 hours
labor + material 115.00

Rufus Wagner's "Joe"
removed dining nook seat
"gooed" the roof- new screen
in H's window- repaired
library window 26.59

Singer Sewing Machine 50.00
" " table 23.92

June 16- 1939
China Closet 23.95

The right hand page from the top:

Bought GE Refrigerator
Aug 1, 1939- 128.00
+ (160 deduct for old one)

May 19, 1948 (W.A. Gay)
86# hind quarter beef 49.07

April 27, 1948
Heavy wire to house (220) Nate Moore 55.08

March 31, 1948
Wagner Connell Co.
shower, electric water heater 40 gal
stool- 327.25

So I know 1947-48 was a big update year (20 years after the house was built) they took out the half wall and one seat in the kitchen nook, repainted the kitchen, upgraded the electric service, and converted the basement room (kindling room in the blueprints) into a bathroom.

Here's what the nook looked like originally:

and what it looked like when we bought the place:

As much as I like the look of the original I do appreciate the extra room you get when walking in the back door.

Lisa suggested that as a preservationist I tell Pete that I will pay him historical wages!

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