almost porchless.

The past couple weeks we’ve been undergoing some home renovating on the weekends. Some of ya’ll know we live in a nice old house, a 133 year old house. It was build by the son of the man that founded the town we live in. Below is an artists interpretation of what our home looked like when it was built in 1875. I say interpretation because there is a hill on the left of the house and another big hill to the right just after the trees. Also at some point the chimney on the left was torn down to the attic floor and the chimney on the right was completely removed. The widows walk is also gone, but the access ladder is still in the attic.
an artists drawing of our home in 1875
Its one of the oldest homes in our town still standing. There are lots of quirks and weird stuff that we’ve come across that we just don’t get. But there is so much history and beauty in it too. We’ve been putting off rebuilding the porches for a number of years now. Mostly because we couldn’t agree on how to rebuild them. The front porch was the hardest to decide, by looking at the drawing it looks like it was a balcony. There is even a door frame around the top center front window which is in our bedroom. We ended up deciding to rebuild it close to the way it was when it was ripped off, but with a different roof. Even though this was the last porch to be ripped off we’ll start with its story.

front porch with description
Mostly because its the one that makes ya go huh? Go ahead and imbiggen that picture. At some point some one had cellulose insulation blown into the house. And where the black arrows in the photo are pointing to are missing siding planks. Which allowed whole bunches of insulation to be blown into the porch roof filling it up so it was all nice and insulated. I’m guessing the people who did the insulating didn’t know this was happening. (Ok, its more like hoping. But anyway.) Once the roof started to go, this made the insulation get wet and start to rot, which made the wood rot. And a whole lots of fantabous. This is one of the quirks that ya just wonder what the hell where they thinking? (Other than lets save some wood. We don’t need to plank this up!) There is still a little bit of the floor left to rip off, and some of the floor supports that need to be ripped off too. I found one little treasure under this porch that I’m trying to identify
piece of a plate
Anyone know anything about this piece? Its not flat, it has a slight curve to it. Which makes me think it was a small bowl. We found lots of stuff under the back porch/mudroom and the side porch. It amazes me how much stuff people left under the porches. I keep asking myself why didn’t they pick this stuff up before they started building? Why did they just leave it here? But I am quite happy they where slobbish and left it for us to find, decades later.
things found under the porches during renovation
click on photo to embiggen and to go to my flickr set where you’ll find more info.

When the side porch was ripped off, we found the biggest surprises. I thought that we had gotten everything out of the side porches closet. But hidden on the back of the top shelf this can was hiding,
the old tin can
Its a little smaller than a popcorn can. You can barely see “Fleshman’s” written on it. It also says frozen and the sticker says “VOL-WHIP EGG WHITE” I don’t know what it contained. Any idea’s? We also found a slew of things inside of here, almost like a time capsule.
hidden in the tin
Inside the tin was a mess of papers that where perfectly preserved dating back to the 1960’s. There are pictures, local newspaper clippings, books, and pay stubs from a local mine among so many papers. I hope to have some time to photograph these in detail.
side porch
We burned most of the wood that came off of the porches. We only filled one 10 yard dumpster with the tar paper roofs and other things that weren’t burnable or safe to burn from 3 porches. So that is what my past 3 weekends have been about. Luckily I have the “hardest” job, entertaining my children and our helpers children. Hopefully this weekend while I’m away at my parents for our family reunion the rest of the front porch will be ripped off and we will be totally porch-less and the footer’s will be poured for the mudroom.

ahhhh, renovation and construction, its what brings couples closer together….


7 responses

  1. I don’t envy you the project, but the house will be stunningly gorgeous when you’re done. What a great house!

    I think people threw things under porches as trash, back in the days when there was no pick up and you burned it all.

  2. I think it contained Egg White. What else? lol.

    I know it’s a money pit but renovating and living in an old house is a dream of mine. Well, maybe not some of the “closets”/”plumbing” but it’s the principle of the thing.

    Always good to have a well insulated porch roof to keep the …….what out? IT”S out. That’s hilarious. It had to be incidental to the insulation process. Someone wasn’t watching closely enough and someone didn’t care.

  3. I envy the fact that you get to live in such history! I know it seems like a money pit but when you are done with the construction you will be very happy you did it. I can’t to see how it all turns out.

  4. The egg white can – my guess is it was probably either from a commercial bakery or military. I’d have guessed WWII but not “frozen” egg white.
    What was in it?

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