Monday, February 9, 2009

Urban Archeology

Urban Archeology, finding pieces of your home's past. Over the weekend we had two glimpses into our homes history. Part of the "Big staircase" project is to open up the area under the stairs. In part to get new "proper" stairs to the basement and two because of plumbing work that has to be done for the new half bath that is tucked in the room under the staircase landing.

We had two big "finds' over the weekend. The first was a bit of wallpaper that was under some shelving in what had been the shelves under the stairs. This wallpaper is likely from the 1920's and probably was extra that had been used , perhaps in the stair hallway. A somewhat typical Tree and floral pattern of that era.

The "Big Find" occurred when I opened up the wall behind the closet under the stairs.

Back in the far reaches of the area under the stairs was a wooden handle chisel! Old tools are the "holy grail" for Old house people. Well money is always nice to find too! But this was definitely the "story piece" so far in this home restoration. Imagine its 1871 some German Craftsman has been building the staircase,. It was probably late in the day and he left his 'then probably new" chisel under the stairs. I say probably new , as there are no "grind marks" on it and its still sharp. I brought it home and am debating if I should clean it up or just leave it in "as found" condition. What you cant see from the picture I took when we got it home it the "mark" on the chisel itself, a "B" with a feathered arrow leading to a cross. Tools were not cheap back then and I am sure whomever the workman was "cussed up a storm" when he realized he lost it!

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