From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A beautiful old house

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... History and Old Stuff...




Here are a few photographs from the tag sale I attended today. This nice old house in one of Hopkinsville's historic districts was once owned by Frank Bassett, a highly regarded and much beloved gentleman who served in county government for many years. He had trained as a physician, but did not practice. I heard at the tag sale that Mr. Bassett's granddaughter had inherited the house upon his death and that it has now been sold to new owners.

I don't know who actually built the home. According to a fellow at the sale who was examining the architecture of the basement, the house was probably built between 1910 and 1920. It's reasonable to guess that it was built before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. I personally think its construction date was closer to 1920 than 1910, based on my observations of the style of the home, but I'm certainly no expert.

The house has many features of a luxurious home of its time -- a butler's pantry, servant quarters off the kitchen, a library, beautiful hardwood floors, built-in cabinets in nearly every room, and a matching carriage house. The exterior walls of the full basement are cut limestone. At one end of the basement, a door opens to the outside. I suppose coal might have been brought in there to fuel a furnace. The upstairs was closed off, so I don't know how many rooms are there. In the main level, there are 4 (I think) bedrooms not counting the small servant's room.

Here is a rough sketch of the general layout of the house. This is my inaccurate impression of the house's floor plan, but you can see how the house is divided into thirds with a hallway along each side of the center rooms. Note the small room with a nice view of the back yard off the master bedroom. I didn't draw in the servant's room and pantries in the kitchen area .

This chest of drawers isn't a detail of the architecture, but it was so beautiful I had to photograph it. It had a matching piece (a dressing table, I think) which I did not photograph.

A safe is built into the wall beside one of the fireplaces.

Looking from the sunroom doors through the dining room to the front parlor and main entrance. This home has 10-foot ceilings and exposed beams in the dining room and front parlor.

An example of the built-in cabinets. This is in the dining room near the door to the kitchen area.

Both bathrooms have ceramic floors with this border and white tiled walls up to about 5 feet. Here you see more of the built in storage. One of the bathrooms has a vintage commode. I don't know what year it might be from, but it's older than me, I think. Its tank is mounted on the wall, and a pipe about a foot long runs from the bottom of the tank to the back of the bowl.



The carriage house has been converted to a residence, but you can see where the doors used to be.

I enjoyed visiting this interesting old house. My photos don't do it justice. Something about its atmosphere reminded me of the "Rock House" that Rose Wilder built for her parents, Almanzo and Laura (Ingalls) Wilder. If you've ever been there, you'll know what I mean.

2 comments:

RunAwayImagination said...

I enjoy reading your posts about daily life and scenes around Hopkinsville. These "everyday miracles" are the threads from which the tapestry of life is woven.

Genevieve said...

I would never have guessed I'd end up in Kentucky, but here I am, and I imagine we'll stay here because our kids think of themselves as Kentuckians. The Hopkinsville area is a good place to live.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.