I've been mostly not near a computer for the past few weeks;
my hardware is still here, but nobody's home.
Except the servants.
Okay, not the servants.
Because the closest we come to having a servant is this:
And mostly we do his bidding.
The picture with the (faux, as in mannequin) servant was not taken in our house.
It was taken in this house, which is like our house, and yet not.
|Their front hall stairs.|
This is our house:
|Our front hall stairs.|
What do our house and this other house have in common?
They were both built in 1832.
They have both been known to spook some people with what might be ghosties.
(Am I being vague enough?)
They were both built as prosperous middle-class family homes.
But while our house was built in the country as a farmhouse:
The other house was a city home for a successful merchant:
And, the other house is a museum.
So that's another difference -- we don't charge you $10 to visit us.
Except on holidays . . . .
But the Merchant's House Museum at 29 East 4th Street in Manhattan is well worth
checking out if you live in the New York area or are visiting from afar, or anear.
When our daughter Alida visited awhile back, she brought her camera.
I was interested to see if this very different house would echo our much more humble dwelling.
Well, it does and it doesn't.
There is a pie safe in the museum kitchen, which is the same shape and construction as ours.
Although ours has wire screening instead of punched tin.
What's great about the Merchant House is that many of the items in it actually belonged to the Tredwell family,
who lived in it from shortly after it was built, until 1933. Almost one hundred years in one family.
In 1936 it became a museum, decorated as the family would have done in the early years.
I'm not sure I'd want to work in this kitchen, mostly because that stove would scare me to death,
but the kitchen is beautiful in its simplicity. I am pretty certain that is a soapstone sink in the corner.
We don't have a soapstone sink here at That Old House -- we have practical modern stainless.
But our countertops are the less practical but beautiful soapstone, a time-honored kitchen material.
The stove is amazing, even if scary. We don't have a wood or coal stove,
but we do have a very old copper kettle, rather like the one on the right.
|Old picture; it is not Christmas time even in New Jersey right now!|
The Merchant's House Museum has some lovely family bedrooms:
Love the Empire furniture in this room!
There are fancy-schmancy pillars -- the house is Greek Revival style inside,
but more of a Federal style outside.
The entrance is graceful, with fluted Ionic columns
that flank the door, echoing the interior architecture.
Our porch columns, which are Doric style Tuscan columns, look pretty plain Jane by comparison.
As suits a farmhouse!
In the dining room, part of the double parlor, it looks like preparations are underway for a party.
The dining area fireplace has a stove inset,
what all the cool kids were using to heat their homes in the 1830s.
It's hard to see, but there's an insert in the parlor fireplace as well.
We think because of the shallow firebox in our
parlor fireplace that it, too, had a modern, cool-kid stove to heat that room.
Our mantel is painted wood; the Merchant's House has marble mantels.
And also snazzy -- Poppies!
And ours have started opening and blooming, bless their little hearts.
Poppies have such a short season that I stare at them a lot.
Amazing, gorgeous, explosive silky color.
Okay, I'm done.
I got a kick out of comparing two houses, born the same year, some things in common,
but really quite different -- City Mouse and Country Mouse.
Grab your Friday and enjoy! -- Cass
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