Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Winter Drive of Discovery

Above: The beautiful scenery on a very chilly day!
During the Christmas holidays, I noticed in the paper that there was an "Open House" in a nearby town, a historic 1880's Italianate home. The family made the drive to see it on one of the coldest days we have had this winter. The Ice had melted from the road but the trees were still covered in frost, and the car door handles were icy! This 29-degree foggy weather might not seem like very interesting facts to those of you who live in these conditions all winter, but for us it was a very adventurous undertaking to leave the house on a day like this. We were not sorry that we did.

This house looks like a wedding cake! Built by a local lumberman/carpenter in the 1880's for his wife, the house was designed chiefly for entertaining.  According to the tour guide, the couple lived in a "shack" of a house while raising their children, and the tour guide supposed that the Mrs.  finally had a fit to get a nice house of her own. This of course is not known for real!

A ladies' parlour, sitting room, dining and breakfast room, and very roomy kitchen are downstairs. Up a very unique curved staircase are two bedrooms and a sitting room. We were not able to go to the cupola, which must have afforded the owners with an entertaining view of the town.

The inside boasts high decoratively painted ceilings, and transom windows hand-painted to imitate stained glass in the doorways. The bay in the sitting room had scenes painted on the transoms of mountains, and the ladies' parlour had roses painted above the bay windows.

Unfortunately, interior pictures were not allowed, but here are some of the exterior:

Going up to walk, one is impressed by all the trim on the house.The house was decorated with pine garlands for Christmas, and inside there was a tree with white folded-paper stars and popcorn garlands, quite nice looking.
Note that all the gutters are hidden behind the crown-like trim.

All the corners of the house were trimmed as seen above. This is the side view of the house. Note that the front portion of the house (left, facing the street) has narrower siding than the back "kitchen wing" on the right of the photo. I guess that was using the finest details for the public view.

A detail of the trim underneath the windows.

The town had many examples of Victorian/Edwardian period architecture, and the houses had plaques with the year they were built. The house above is dated 1912.

The eye-catching pink house above was built in the 1890's.

This house is dated 1908. I like the angled porch entrance.

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