Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trash and Treasure

Some pictures from yesterday's cleaning at the log cabin:

The sun was shining on--and in-- the old place as we began picking up trash and sorting the contents of the cabin.
A door, probably original to the structure, stands open between the remains of the kitchen addition and the log part of the house. The pull on the door looks original.

A clayback heater, probably installed when natural gas drilling occurred in the area in the early part of the 1900's, was added to the kitchen. Nowadays these heaters are collectible. I will bring this one home and see if we can clean it up and get it working. It's a reminder of my childhood in the house in Manassas in the 1950's and 60's, when these heaters were our only source of heat.

The back of the corner cabinet we found, along with a graniteware lid that looks for all the world like the top to a chamber pot.

The stone fireplace was hidden behind metal and a gas stove. What's that metal thing in front of the photo? See below.

The steps to the loft are in surprisingly good shape. A friend suggested that we could use them as a plant stand. I might do that--or we might install them in the room if we add a loft.

Clothes still hang in the closet under the stairs, and two woven split bottom chairs are in remarkably good condition.

A table peeks out from under fallen sheetrock and wallpaper. The writing on the box? I don't know, but will find out, I hope, on our next trip. Old clothes are scattered or piled all over the cabin.

Here is the table after Larry hauled it into the daylight. (No, we didn't find the pitchforks in the cabin--those are ours.) It appears to be oak or chestnut. We'll know more after we clean it up.
It was soon dark, and we headed home with the load of junk below:

The bedsprings rest on top of the corner cupboard. Larry plans to use the springs in the garden--he says he'll put a big rock on top and use them to level out lumps and bumps in the soil. I've seen them used this way and they do a good job.

The split bottom chairs ride along with another chair with a nice carved back and hideous 1960's plastic covering on the seat.

Here's what was in the fireplace photo--a circa 1950's-60's tricycle in very good condition, just a little dirty. I saw one like it at an auction and it sold for about $45. We may clean this one up to sell, or use it as a yard ornament. Not sure yet.
There were a few other "keepers" from the house that I will have pictures of later. We also cleared out 6 huge bags of trash and stacked some stuff that will be hauled to a burn pile later. A few children's riding toys in fair condition will be washed and taken to Goodwill, along with a few chairs and a table that we do not want to keep. Lot's more sorting to do.
It was a good start, and we have a long way yet to go. I'm curious as to what other treasures might hide beneath the rubble. Could be none at all. It will be interesting to sort through anyway.


Angela said...

Hey Granny Sue!

My husband used an old box spring to rake our yard years ago. It worked out well!

We had an old house that had those old stoves in them. I tried to get my husband to save them before we tore it down and he wouldn't do it. You are welcome to come and slap him on the head if you like!

Does the old log house smell as dusty as it looks? And I'm also wondering if your Red Bud Jelly came out alright?

Nance said...

Sue, wish I could have there beside you all day long. Although I do not remember ever seeing a "clay back heater" I must have heard that term as a child. It is familiar. And last (but not least, as they say) that old Trike was mine! lol Ours! My siblings and I took turns on that trike! I hope you keep it as a yard ornament!

Deer Camp Diva said...

How exciting! I find it mysterious and a little haunting to explore abandon homes, especially when they look like the folks who lived there just up and vanished.

Oh, that reminds me of a poem one of my friends recently posted on a message board I frequent...

Abandoned Farmhouse by Ted Kooser

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm--a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Janet, said...

Neat! I can't believe you found all that stuff in the cabin. We used those heaters when I was a child.

Brighid said...

Looks like fun to me, having picked thru my share of old places.
Bye the way, how did the jelly turn out?
And thanks to DCD for the haunting story...

Mary said...

I need to see pictures of the bedsprings used in the garden. I just can't imagine it . . .

What a wonderful treasure hunt!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I just love sifting through abandoned places. You never know what treasures you'll find.
I remember seeing people use an old box spring to smooth out a ball field.
I have been trying to get my blog reading caught up, but everytime I start I get interrupted.
Wish me luck!! LOL

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