Saturday, September 12, 2015

Helen's House - The Kitchen and Basement

OK, I promised this months ago but sometimes life catches up with you and you lack the time to blog about what you are doing. The kitchen at Helen's house is not conducive to modern living. It is small. Has built in cabinets and the basement access door is in the floor. Perfect for a single person who has lived in the house most of her life but not suitable for a family with children.
It was modernized around 1940 with a new sink and plumbing. It was last decorated in the 1960s with wall paper and a new light. Here are some of the "before" photos. I remove a piece of paneling that covered the water lines to the washing machine that revealed the original yellow wall color popular in the 1920s and 30s.

These register  covers are interesting.

I peeled much of the wall paper off, sanded and painted the wood molding a gloss white. All of the hardware was stripped of paint and restored to the original copper finish.

After the room was painted a light green color the floor was tiled with linoleum tiles. I was going for a 1940s style with the kitchen. Helen approved of the new look. I remember showing her these pictures before she passed away. This work was done back in January 2015.

I took a light fixture out of the Old Crack House and put it in Helen's kitchen where it works perfectly with the color scheme.

I also promised you a look at the basement. It has been cleaned and swept a bit but here is what Helen left in the basement when she moved. Loads of old canning jars and bottles. Some are still full of food and one was labeled "Cherries 1939" so we won't be eating anything in these jars!

This was the original location of the stairs and the bulkhead doors when there used to be a back porch and the kitchen was probably just a pantry. Helen moved in with her Aunt and Uncle around 1924 and told me that this would have all existed before she arrived because she did not remember it as functional.

This was the water tank connected to the cistern and a pump to remove water from the floor well. The floor is below the sewer line which you will see in the pictures below. Water from laundry was collected in the depression below the cast iron grate and pumped out with this old electric pump.
There were some interesting local bottles in this collection that now are on display in the Old Crack House.

Still lots of work being done. Much of the summer was spent getting the yard in order and growing vegetables on the vacant lot next door. We had an excessive amount of rain this year which hurt much of what I was growing and it seemed that I was cutting grass and weeding every week.

The next thing I had to take care of was the bane of my existence. 
That can be the next chapter ...... 

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