The Stream in the Cellar

Realtor:  Have you ever had a problem with water in your basement?

Me:  Well, there’s a stream in the cellar.

The realtor was not amused.  Especially when he found out that it was true.

Our house was built in 1850.  I know that is not old by European standards, but by American standards it is OLD.  It was built pre-Civil War.  People who were children during the American Revolution were still alive when this house was built.

I fell in love with it on sight.

Right behind the house is a creek.  It’s lovely.  And it runs through the house. The cellar was constructed to allow for the overflow from the creek that happened when there was a lot of rain or a lot of melting snow.  The floor was dirt, covered in gravel and had an entrance and exit for the water.

Yes, yes, yes we got the occasional critter. No fish, though, thank goodness.

When the realtor went down to the cellar, he immediately hit his head on the ceiling.  I’m 5’2″ and I didn’t have to duck.  But it was close.

Then he looked to the right.  In an area enclosed by bricks or rocks (I can’t remember) was the mother of all heavy iron, coal furnaces from the 1800’s.  It was a monster.  The stuff of childhood nightmares.  The breathing, burning furnace with the flames coming to get the unsuspecting children.  And it made a cool selling point for the house.

When the house converted to a more modern furnace, the old one was too big and heavy to be disassembled and removed. Which begs the question of how it got there in the first place.  I wish I had taken pictures of the old furnace and the cellar.  What stories that cellar could tell.

A stream runs through it.

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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27 Responses to The Stream in the Cellar

  1. That sounds pretty awesome and unique. Though I suppose I can see a realtor might not like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    That is quite fascinating. Think of what a great setting a home like that would make for a novel, particularly a horror one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Yes, I can see that. Lots of bats in the attic, too. But the house was lovely and benign. Most people were astounded by the cellar because modern housing has moved so far away from dirt cellars and 150 year old furnaces. The old furnace was definitely creepy, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bea dM says:

    I’d have been concerned about issues like humidity working its way up into the house. Just like it does in lovely Venice palazzi 🙂 By the way, nice clean new blog look. I’m curious: why did you decide to change, and how does it feel ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I saw that lots of people were changing their theme, and there was some things I wanted to have on the sidebars that you couldn’t with the old theme. I fooled around with it about a week ago and was so frustrated I wanted to pull my hair out. This one seemed to work, although putting a header photo didn’t look right. I write on the laptop, but do everything else on my kindle tablet. With the old theme, on the kindle it was a smaller, but to-scale version of the one on the computer. But with this one, no sidebar info showed on the kindle. You have to click a specific post, scroll all the way down past the comments and then the sidebar stuff is in a line that you have to keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I’m going to either fix it now or if it can’t be fixed, chose a different one. My old theme is not available anymore. Long-winded answer to your question lol. And to the first point, no humidity. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bea dM says:

        Thanks for taking the time. I imagine one gets an itch to change themes sometimes, and was wondering why one takes the jump. I’ve been told we should think of readability on all supports, but have never paid attention as I blog and read blogs exclusively on my desktop… I’m surprised no humidity but thank goodness 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        I was also getting some comments from friends and family that so and so’s was easier to read. Reaching the maximum audience is more easily accomplished when not only the title and content grabs them, but when the format first grabs their attention. I’m glad I did it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I just changed themes again. Now it shows correctly on computers or tablets, and I got to add a header picture. Let me know what you think of attempt #2. I like this one better but I’m certainly open to suggestions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Coleman says:

    The stream in the cellar actually seems like a sensible solution to a house built so close to the water! I know by today’s standards its odd, but honestly, I kind of admire the way they had a designated place for the water to enter and exit, and the gravel for drainage. Kind of working with nature, rather than against it, as we tend to do when we build water these days. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I agree completely. Now they would re-route the water, or it would be considered a real deficit. It ever got high enough to ruin anything, but obviously we didn’t use it the way we do with basements today. No boxes on the floor, etc. And the furnaces, both the old relic and the newer functioning one, were on raised platforms. A unique home but probably not unusual for its time. Thank you for your interest!

      Like

  5. Hey! You changed your theme. This is nice. I wish you have got a picture too! I’m really curious how that looks. Breathing, burning furnace that comes for the children – reminds me of Roald Dahl”s stories.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing. I’m curious about the installation of the furnace myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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