Eleven HouseThe "Eleven" : The Fixer Upper 

Eleven House: Old House Attic Finds

You never know what you might find in a 125-year-old attic! We are continuing slow and steady work on the Eleven House. Bill Spaid and I decided that it was silly to work ourselves to the point of soreness and exhaustion; we’re too wise for that! So we’re going with the flow of the day and setting our sights for a few hours of work each day, in between our regular jobs and other responsibilities. It felt good to actually get some plaster off:


We took some time to get to know the house before we started removing plaster. Earlier this week I had opened the trap door to the attic and noticed that the trap door to the roof was open about halfway. I was a bit too short to reach the door from the ladder, so we brought a taller ladder on this day and took a look in the attic as well as on the roof.

Over Our Heads

The roof is a flat roof with a center drain near the chimney on the square part of the house. There is a second chimney inside the house; someone removed the older chimney from the roof, but a portion of it jutted above above the roofline and had been poorly patched. We’ll have to get up there to patch once we break through with new plumbing, so everything will be taken care of at the same time, probably in the fall when the weather is cool.

tool image "Old Equipment Tools Group Set On Grain Wood" by blackzheep of freedigitalimages
tool image “Old Equipment Tools Group Set On Grain Wood” by blackzheep of freedigitalimages

Then we took a look in the attic. We had spotted what looked like paint cans, piled up in the center of the attic on a few old shutters. But I come from a long line of treasure hunters, and I know this:  never assume junk is junk.

I pulled up a few boards to span the ceiling joists and crept along the attic to the pile. Using one of the boards, I piled a few items at a time on it and Bill pulled them back to the opening. We found old vegetable cans, opened with a knife or other rough tool; a coffee (or tea?) pot; metal pieces from an old stove; and a glass bottle that might have been a liniment bottle. But we also found a surprise. Watch the video to find out!

Of Corset!

Why do you think these things were tucked up in the two-foot-tall attic? The corset is really a beautiful piece of clothing, and the daughter of a friend suggests it might be from the 1890s. I would welcome your input on this lovely – feel free to comment below!

Stay tuned for more updates on Eleven House!

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