Thursday, May 8, 2008

Living With The Past

I've done a bit of research on the history of our house. I'd like to do more. I've been to the Land Registry Office, and have a list of all the previous owners of our house, and what they paid for it. Most of the land south of the Mississippi River in town was originally owned by William Franklin Morphy. In fact, the original name of Carleton Place was "Morphy's Falls". He sold our lot to a Thomas Burgess in 1886 for $152.50. I wonder what the fifty cents covered!

I found Thomas Burgess and his wife Charlotte in the 1901 census. He was of English descent, she of Irish. They were Methodists. There's a big ink smudge in the "Profession" box, but I think it says "section foreman". Would this be a mill? The railroad? His annual salary was $600. The neatest thing for me though, was that they had three children. (Like us.) Two girls and a boy. (Like us.) Loretta was born in 1881, Florence in 1885 and Melville in 1890. I would imagine that Melville was born here in the house, probably in the master bedroom. Our son was born in 1997 here in the house. In the master bedroom. (Again, like us.) Knowing a bit about who lived and breathed and ate and slept and walked up and down those 16 steep stairs a thousand times a day
like you do is quite the feeling. As my Dad would say; "It boggles the mind."
These are before and after photos of the floor in the master bedroom.

In the upper photo you can see some of the original orange shag carpet that covered the entire second floor when we bought the house. And the state of the floorboards. And the stove pipe hole we found under a square of tin that was nailed to the floor. The cement block around it must weigh a ton, and is in the ceiling of the kitchen below - pretty much right over my head when I'm sitting at the kitchen table!!

Below shows the patch job we did. It looks pretty good. We've had to cover a few of these hole, and I've made measurements and notes showing just where the holes are. When I find nice stove pipe grate covers, I'll be able to add them in.

1 comment:

Sadie Says said...

This kind of stuff, as you know, just gives me goosebumps. I wonder how many babies were born in my house? At least three, I'm thinking... I can't really tell which room was the master bedroom, though.

People usually died in their home as well. Did you find any info about how long the original owners were there? Who died first, etc?