The Things we Find: an early version?

Since moving here, we haven’t really gone into the basements much.  In fact, it’s something I try to avoid.  I don’t even want to think about trying to clean things up there!  Especially the New Part basement.  You’d think it would be the other way around, since the stairs to the Old Part basement are so steep, with such narrow treads, it’s actually safer to go down them backwards, like onboard a ship, and the ceiling – the floors of the original log part of the house – is so much lower.  It is, however, much… emptier.  And cleaner.  We can actually get to where we need to – the well pump, the sump pump, the septic pump, the hot water tank, the furnaces.  These are all things we actually need to go down and check, too.

The New Part basement… not so much.

The New Part basement has better stairs (even though the door opens over the stairs instead of the entryway, making it rather dangerous to open from the basement side), higher ceilings, and was built after things like weeping tile were developed, and is quite the disaster.

It’s much bigger than the Old Part basement, so back in the day, it was very actively used.  I remember my late brother, when he had a job at an RV manufacturer, had actually set up tables almost the entire length of the basement, with the surface marked out with lines and … nails? I don’t quite remember… to match the wiring diagrams for various RVs.  His job was to lay out the wiring so that it could be just dropped into the appropriate RV during construction, and he found it more efficient to do it at home then at the factory!

Though there was some attempt to start making it a finished basement, with a dry bar, it never happened.  Instead, it became an all purpose workshop and place to store… all kinds of things.

Right now, the counter that is left in there is basically blocked by stuff, and along with a few useful things still left, it’s mostly ancient paint, odds and ends, gutted antiques that are now worthless, and bits and pieces of tools – possibly usable ones, like a drill press that I’d love to test out.  If I could get to it.  And now we’ve had to include some of our own seasonal stuff in there.  Also, the remains of our old van door that my brother had to cannibalize pieces of for the new door, so that he could replace it and still have the same key.

Basically, it’s a disaster, and we are just not at a point where we are ready to deal with it.

Every now and then, though, I need to go down there and look for something.

Which I did yesterday evening.

While poking around in what was supposed to be the dry bar, but is instead filled with many empty bottles and used as storage for some of the oddest things – like a travel potty! – I found myself looking at the back of what I thought was an old fan.  I’d never really looked closely at it until then, though, and this time I actually turned it around.

It’s not a fan at all.


This would be a very early type of radiant heater.

It may even still work, though to be honest, I don’t think it would be safe to test it!

We have quite a lot of stuff around here that would be right at home in a museum!

The Re-Farmer


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