Monday, June 16, 2008

Well, while we wait on the flooring to be delivered, I got bored and started doing a little online searching for more information about William, Ida and Robert--the owners of my house from 1899 - 1939.

If you'll remember from my previous post about them here (Scroll to Jan 2, 2007):
William John Wright and Ida Kate Wright moved into the house in 1899 with their son, John. Soon after, Otis Home Wright was born. I like to think his middle name was in celebration of him being born soon after they moved into their brand new house. The very next year, William died.

I found William's death registration. It says he died from "brain fever" lasting one week. He died September 17, 1900 and was 37 years old. Who knows what in the world he really died from, but that's a very quick illness. And if that's not bad enough, I found out that Ida was pregnant when William died. It gets worse--she lost the baby. There's a registration for a still born female, born April 21, 1901. Seven months after William died.

In one year, she lost her husband and her baby girl. Why isn't my house haunted? If anything, there should be a sad woman walking the halls looking for her daughter, or kneeling by her husband's sick bed. I like to think that her life ended happy, so her spirit didn't linger. Two years later she was married to Robert Thomas, the barber, who moved into the house with his son and daughter. And the best happy ending of all? They had a daughter together in 1906, Ida Doris Thomas. Ida Kate would have been 43 when she had her--quite a late pregnancy for those days (and the age I am now!). But how nice for her to be able to start a new family after all of that sadness 5 years prior.

I learned lots of other helpful information including Ida's full name and maiden name (Graham), parent names for all three of them and their exact wedding dates. I also found the birth registrations for all of the children except for one (John Wright).

Some questions I still have: When did Robert and Ida die? Death records are not available online later than 1937 and Robert is still listed as living in the house until 1939 (they only list the man in the city directories). I hope I'll find this info as well as their headstone someday.

I still can't really figure out much about Robert's former wife. On the marriage registration for Ida, he's listed as a widower. On the 1901 census he was just listed as single. On the birth registrations for his 2 children, the mother is listed as Nettie Sageman. However, I can't find any death registration for her--or anything else for that matter. So some of the mysteries continue...


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Well, the kitchen saga continues. Are you bored yet? I'm not!

The next stage involved ripping out the bottom cabinets. We had it all planned for Saturday morning. I emptied everything out on Friday and set up a little temporary food prep station in the dining room complete with disposable plates and cutlery.

I got up around 7:30 on Saturday morning, and Pete had the whole thing pretty much done. So much for getting a chance to smash something!

I was surprised to see more of the wood planking behind the cabinet. It's pretty darn old if it was there before the kitchen cabinets were put in.

Under the right side of the cabinets, we found this flooring. It must have been the original floor. It was removed from the rest of the kitchen sometime after the base cabinets went in. That's a lot of green paint for one room!

We found this linoleum under the other side of the cabinets. It was on top of another, plainer piece. I think they just used it to shim up the cabinets and cover a big hole in the wood floor on that side. Isn't it cool? It was so dirty you could barely see the pattern. I cleaned it up so I could see what it looked like. Very art deco, I'd say.

This is the other piece of lino. I like this one too. Of all of the lino I've found in the house, I haven't seen either of these patterns. This one is actually square tiles instead of sheets.

So then Rob N. came over and we finished the kitchen. Here it is. Isn't it beautiful?

Just kidding. Rob and Pete built a temporary sink so we'd at least have some water until we do the flooring.

We ordered some flooring called "Cushion Step", made by Armstrong. It's sort of spongy so it will be warm on the feet. Pete thinks we can lay it ourselves so we'll be saving a lot of money.

Next steps: Wait for the flooring to arrive. Put down a new subfloor. Put drywall in behind cabinets. Put in new cabinets and counter. Install dishwasher. Paint top cupboards, walls and ceilings. Hmm... that's a lot of work ahead of us!

And just so you don't think I live in complete squalor all of the time. Look at my garden! I'm so happy with the flowers I bought for the pot on the steps and in the hanging basket this year.