Built in 1912, January 2012 marks the 100 year birthday of our new home. We thought as our own way to celebrate we'd share the relics and mementos we uncovered while moving in after the family/families of people who lived here before us.
The previous owners moved out fairly quickly after the dealings
began, so we are assuming the majority of tidbits we unearthed were left
in the hurry of packing and moving, though a couple things left us
guessing whether or not they may have been intentionally left. Some items we snapped shots of and others we neglected in our own hurry to
clean and begin our move in...
1. The first thing we noticed they left before we could even got through the front door during the final walk-through before closing were the 3 bar stools at the kitchen island. While we both agreed beforehand that we'd want different ones in the future anyways, we were beyond thrilled they left the ones there for us to move in with until we find the right ones for us — who knows how long that could take and we're actually finding that the island truly is becoming one of our main living areas (sitting on the far right stool typing with my laptop up on the bar as we speak Tim two stools over on the left...). I neglected to get a before and after shot, but the fabric on each of the 3 stools had seen better days. The previous owners had 2 small children, so it's inevitable there would be stains. What we weren't expecting was how clean they would come with a little elbow grease. I got a few lessons in cleaning from Tim's mother, Carol, who helped me scrub the stool fabric with Bissell Fabric & Upholstery Cleaner, scrub and wipe down the wood components with Murphy Oil Soap, then later spray the fabric parts again with Scotchgard fabric and upholstery protector. The stools now literally look like we just bought them and we couldn't be happier.
** In the spirit of keeping it real here at 17 Apart, you're getting the raw shots of the home with everything sprawled out on the floors and counters as we make our way in. Please excuse the mess!
2. iPod earbuds hanging in the master bedroom which we cleaned up and gave to Tim's son, Brandon who'd been ironically missing his for a while now. Funny how those things work out.
3. As mentioned, the family who lived in this home before us had two little girls — we think their names were Maddie and Lily based on the adorable growth chart pencil markings we came across on the large doorway trim leading out of our kitchen. I was cleaning all the baseboards and trim with a Magic Eraser when I happened upon these little names and was so glad I paused to investigate further (Tim always laughs and teases me about "investigating" things — I like to take my time and take note of all the details). We've decided to leave the names for now and maybe add markings on the other side for our own nieces and nephew. We think they add a little charm to the history and story of the home.
4. Speaking of the little girls — Tim came across the most funny and endearing piece of paper that we are calling the "naughty note." It appears some lessons were being taught by the looks of the list: 1. Hitting & 2. Saying you don't like Mommy.
5. We found a managerie of random tidbits during our initial "house cleaning" including little toys, legos, baby blanket, baby swing, baby crib, ironing board, carpenter's pencil, a large duvet (up in the closet rafters) and keyring full of keys that don't work anywhere in the current home (or we have not found the secret door with the stack of twenties). All of these were items that were either too large for the city trash to pick up or items we think the previous homeowners just left in their hurry. Since we also won't be able to throw them out, we've placed the larger items aside and are planning to include them in a moving sale we hope to have in a few month's time over at our own previous home. If that doesn't happen, we'll have a carful of donations for Goodwill or other local organization coming soon!
6. In the basement we laughed as we tossed out a bikini top hanging from the old furnace. Our "scary" washer and dryer are located down in the basement (more on these later) so we're thinking the old furnace must have been used as an impromptu drying rack from time to time. Also in the basement we happily discovered some well worn metal storage racks that we'll replace in the future but are happy to use while getting going, and several old bottles of wine on a rack. Tim and I thought we'd scored on the wine — what a nice gift from the previous owners we said to ourselves, only to discover the bottles were past their prime and not worth drinking. A good story nonetheless.
7. We also found several old shelves and bookcases left in the garage
which are again (with a little elbow grease) nice for immediate use and storage until we find the
right fit for our needs.
8. Carol (Tim's mom) and I unearthed this amazing cast iron window sash weight, a relic from the home's past way up on one of the top shelves of the main floor's hall closet. We cleaned it up and think it'd make a nice piece of decor somewhere in the home rather than hidden away once we get more settled.
9. We think the dog who used to live here, named GiGi (GG, GeeGee?) intentionally left a few dog toys behind just for Basil. The first day we were here cleaning, Basil discovered no fewer than a combination of 3 rope toys and various dog bone toys. He was thrilled, but they only lasted a couple days before Basil's rough chewing habits kicked in and destroyed them. We're sure there are more hidden and have no doubt that Basil will find them.
Side note: this photo of Basil makes us think at any moment he will stand up, start pulling the rope out of his mouth only to reveal endless colorful flags...
10. Planters. The previous owners left planters in the front yard, on the steps, on the back terraces, along the back patio and in the garage. We're thrilled and plan to put them to good use come early spring.
11. String Lights. Various string lights atop the back patio — when lit up in the evening, they are pretty magical and were one of those things we'd secretly hoped they'd leave. We'll probably want to change a few out and make them a little more cohesive in the future, but for now we're just thrilled to have found them still here. The neighbor to the left of us, Alice, already told us over the fence one night that she wants dibs on them if we decide to take them down at any point. That's city living for ya!
12. Last but not least, while unpacking our OWN home, we came across this untouched 4 pound can of bowling alley wax underneath the sink. It's never been used and the 1950's packaging is pretty phenomenal. We brought it over to the new home to either sit for several more years or who knows — maybe we'll crack it open and use it on our hardwood floors! Just to clear up any questions, neither Tim nor I have ever owned a bowling alley.
That's what we've found so far!
Whether or not any of our findings were left intentionally or simply left in the hurry of the move, we had fun making all of our little discoveries, imagining the lives of those before us in our new-to-us home and we hope there will be more to come!