Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A lesson in history from Miss Ethel

Over the weekend we had our inspection on the house and all went well!
 Of course we ran into the expected issues of things you would find in any old home. For example: the original knob and tube electrical in sections of the house and two prong outlets!
So we will have to update those things eventually.

Electrical Example

We were lucky enough to be there on the same morning as the family members who put the home up for sale and are the caretakers of Miss Ethel.
I was excited to hear some history on the home, all we knew was that there had been one owner.

We learned that Ethel was born in this house and lived her all her life.
She is now 89 and can no longer live alone and has been moved to a home.
She had a hard time leaving the house and putting it up for sale and they were glad that we recognized the character and charm the house offered.

Apparently there was a house on the same lot previous to this house.
It was built in 1905.
The house was torn down in 1925 and this house was built in it's place.
The light fixtures in the living room were bought at Custer Hardware a long time family owned Hardware store in Renton.
Last year when the family first decided to put the house on the market, they had an antique dealer come through the home to appraise some items so they could decide what to take and what to leave with the home.
 These light fixtures were priced at over $500.00 a piece.
They are in perfect condition.

Photo of Hardware store in Renton taken in 1880

The said light fixtures

The 3 lamp light fixture in the dinning room is out of the original house that was built in 1905 and later moved into the newer home when it was built, so it is an even older piece.

Down stairs in the basement there is a section of old cabinetry with shutter latches and glass window cupboards along with a butcher block topped work bench.
This was out of the kitchen of the 1905 house!
A perfect place for an Arts n' Crafts Station!
 It’s painted “my green” color too! I love it.

The latches

The Green

There were all kinds of treasures in the basement that hadn’t yet been moved out by the family.
Tools, nails, screws, wood trunks that used to keep fire wood, a drill press, bench vices, old wine decanters and jugs and the original kitchen stove form 1925!
Steve, the pack rat, convinced them to leave these things behind for us.

This kitchen stove runs off wood or coal.
The cast iron burners lift off the porcelain base with a hook and you load in your coals with a little shovel.

Obviously, not practical in this day and age but pretty cool to keep with the house as an original appliance. How many people have those kinds of things!?

Similar to this
In typical Renton fashion my parents know everyone.
No one gets out of Renton. I got out… and moved to California… and somehow came back and now I am buying a house there.
 If you had told me this was my future 5 years ago, I would have laughed in your face.
Anyway, my mom seems to run into someone she knows everywhere we go.
I am not talking friends here, these are strangers that are some how connected to her or someone she knows or a friend of a friend’s sister who knew her high school science teacher.
When we were talking to Ethel’s family members, one of them was wearing a Liberty High school sweatshirt.

My mom asked if he had kids that went there. He said yes, but he grew up in Renton and actually went to Hazen. Well, surprise surprise, so did my parents.
They know is sister.
It's like twilight zone.
Oh and she used to work at the old Roxy theater downtown back in the day, which was managed by so and so, who mom also knows and another so and so grew up down the street and he owns a house around the corner and on and on....
I can’t take them anywhere.


Nikki said...

Wow! What a score of a house! Love the history. Has Ethel cooked with that stove all these years?

Meagan Duranleau said...

What a great story!!

andrea said...

very neat! :)
my grandma had an old washer wringer and old coal stove that i wanted to take when her house sold, but it wasn't practical @ the time. :( i did however, get her 1930's mahogany Singer foot pedal sewing machine....yay for antiques!!

Angela said...

That 3 lamp fixture is beautiful!!! You two are so lucky to have found this gem! It's got such a wonderful history. Can't wait to see it in person. When do you guys officially move in??