|Little Home Histories, Part 67 -- A House Built About 1810.|
by Webster, Willis W.
See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 66 -- Home of Peter Sears, 1807-.
My grandmother, Mary C. Bundy Smith, has related to me some of the features of the house in which she was born. Her memories of it date from 1862 to 1865 and on various occasions afterwards when she visited there. It was built in Goshen Township, Belmont County, Ohio, about 1810 by Isaac Patten (William Patterson and a brother of John Patter). Her grandparents, Elijah and Eliza Hanson moved to this place about 1839.
The house faced Northeast. It's main part was a two-story frame, with no attic, but a basement (called cellar then) under the whole of it. Here there was a fireplace in the southeast end, where the chimney that served to carry the smoke from all the heating and cooking units in the house was built. The foundation was of hewn stone. In my grandmother's time, parts of it had been displaced due to erosion by water, and the cellar was practically unused. She recalls occasions when water was ankle deep on the floor. The house was prevented from settling into the basement by props which had been added whenever the declining state of the foundation required it. The weatherboarding was plain boards about eight inches wide. It had no tongue and groove. On the house it overlapped as shingles do.
The kitchen was one story, but had sufficient floor space for the women to cook and the whole family to eat their meals there, which they did. It was as wide as the main house, and built unto its southeast end. There was no cellar under it, but there was a loft above it in which items could be stored or people could sleep. It was reached by a stairway from the kitchen and had no fireplace or any entrance to any other part of the house. My grandmother recalls the fireplace in the kitchen as being the biggest in the house. In it, most of the cooking was done, and logs were burned. Those known as back logs, that is those placed to the rear, were often around six feet long and one and a half feet in diameter, while those toward the front (front logs) approximated one half this size. The back logs often lasted four or five days but of course the front ones burned out sooner. The height of this fireplace was four or five feet. A short person could stand in it and look up the flue and see the sky. Two large flagstones formed the hearth. In the other fireplaces in the house coal was used for fuel. The kitchen also contained a cupboard, two tables and a stove. My great great grandmother Eliza did not use the stove but her girls did. A large table was used to wash the dishes and another one was moved to the center of the room at meal time. A table that served in this capacity at one time in this house was made of cherry wood and is being used now in the H. S. Webster home at East Canton, Ohio.
The first floor of the main part of the house was divided into three rooms. One was the living room; it was located in the southeast half and one of its dimensions was the width of the house. The fireplace in this room was on the side adjacent to the kitchen. The other part was divided into two rooms which were bedrooms. The second floor was divided into four rooms.
There were no presses (closets) in the house, except in the kitchen under the stairs to the loft. Clothes were hung on pegs on the wall.
The inside walls of the house -- instead of being plastered -- were made of boards about four inches wide and nailed on horizontally. The space between these boards and the weather boarding was filled with pieces of wood. The same kind of boards were nailed vertically to form the partitions which were only one board thick. The ceiling was made of the same sort of boards while those in the floor were broader and from a different species of tree. It was covered with rag carpet woven by Eliza Hanson. No paint or varnish was used in the house. Windows were of glass with at least six panes in each sash. The house was torn down thirty or forty years ago (as of 1942).
Source: Written by: Willis W. Webster, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 1942.
See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 68 -- The Smith Homestead, 1813-.
For the table of contents and first entry in this series, please see: Little Home Histories, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Introduction.
This entry is adapted from Little Home Histories in Our Early Homes, Belmont County, Ohio, which was published in 1942. Its publication was coordinated by Robert D. and Beulah Patten McDonald. This entry has been reedited for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Website by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Website. It may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Website. Please note that the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.
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