Friday, May 23, 2008

Hall Chamber in Detail

The hall chamber is quite an interesting room in the sense that it exhibits a number of constructions from several different periods in the history of the house. Here are some photos and commentary.

Above: The southwest corner of the hall chamber with the exterior post and tie-beam of bent #4, and 9/6 windows at the front of the house.

Above left: 12/8 window on south side. Above right: The door leading out to the second floor landing and the post-and-beam assembly of bent #3 just above the door. Doors such as this one were used in earlier times (and are still used today) to prevent cold drafts from coming into heated rooms. This particular door is quite old (perhaps late nineteenth century), but relatively modern compared to other doors in the house.

Above left: Door and interior partition wall. The original chimney was located just on the other side of this partition, and a fireplace was once situated mostly to the left of (and including) the modern register. A vague outline of the fireplace is visible in the plaster (though not necessarily visible in this particular photograph), as well as a plastered-over stove pipe hole. Above right: Doorway to the hall chamber closet area, and a view of the southeast chamber just beyond, with light streaming in from the setting sun. The relative differences in the sizes of the original floor planks of the southeast chamber and those of the hall chamber are apparent in this photo.

Above left: Another view of the hall chamber and closet area entrance, with the spinning room just beyond. Above right: The floor of the hall chamber is very old, but of a more recent vintage than the original (seventeenth century) floor. It is comprised of milled, tongue-and-groove planks 5" in width and twelve feet in length (only a few planks are less than twelve feet long). The floor is consistently higher than both the adjacent southeast chamber and landing floors, suggesting that the original floor planks are just underneath. My guess is that this is an overlay floor that was added to level the surface and thereby make the room more comfortable.

Above left: A close-up view of the hall chamber floor reveals a well-worn surface and a significant historical record. One wonders whether these planks were newly cut when first layed-down, or if they had been taken from somewhere else. When I first bought the house, I thought this floor might be a good candidate for fine finishing, but not now -- it will be preserved in its current state, just like the seventeenth century planks in the other rooms. Above right: The junction of the hall chamber and landing floors. Tongue-and-groove millwork is plainly visible, as well as the relative elevation of the hall chamber floor. The landing floor appears to be of the same construction and vintage as that of the hall chamber, but there is no sub-floor beneath it.

Above: Two 2.5" square-cut nails extracted from the hall chamber floor are shown on the left side of the photo. They are clearly machine-made, as they are tapered on only two opposing sides, and exhibit small striations on the tapered edges. Their heads also appear to be machine-cut, or perhaps hammer-shaped. On the right of the photo are three modern square nails: A concrete nail, a (not quite, but almost) rose-head nail, and a headless brad.


AlexandraFunFit said...

What type of wood is it? And when will you do photos with your furniture added? Which are the inhabited rooms and which are the works in progress?

John Poole said...

It's a milled hardwood, probably oak (a bit hard to tell because it's so heavily covered in paint).

I have lots of photos of populated rooms on FB and Flickr. Most of these photos were taken when I first bought the house and hadn't moved very much furniture in. I wanted the first virtual tour to feature naked rooms only so readers can see the real state of the house. At some point, I'll more photos of furnished rooms published as postscripts to the virtual tour.

As far as inhabited vs. uninhabited, that changes quite a bit! Right now, the hall chamber is completely empty, and I am using the parlor chamber as a bedroom. That will change back soon, when I get done with my frame survey on the south end of the house.

- John