Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gussy it Up!

A friend from the Forestry Forum asked me to post some photos of the interior so of course I had to gussy it up first.

Here is the Kitchen (So to speak). I decorated it with a map of my Hoosier home, my grill gear, a jug and mugs I made when I was a student at Vincennes University. The hand crank Ice Cream maker will see some action when the snow flies. Oh ... did I forget to mention the Perfection Oil Heater!
This thing is a beauty. My Grandmother's cousin, Orpha Wickersham, gave it to my cousin before she died in 1989. He saw the blog and asked me if I wanted it. It had been sitting in his shed unused for years. She was a homesteader in Wyoming. She taught school in a one room school house and I remember her telling stories about getting to school before the kids so she could warm the place up. This is very likely the same oil heater she used. While I was cleaning it I found a date of 1925 on the wick cap. The brochure linked above is dated 1920 something and has a picture of it on page 4. It still works like a champ and you can still buy wicks for it. It is one of the simplest machines I have ever seen. And you can boil water on the top in a pinch.
In the living area I give a "Tip-O-The-Hat" to the first European settlers of the Wabash Valley. For those of you who aren't familiar with Illinois history, it might be of interest to know that this area was once part of the French colony of Canada. Along with the fluier de leis flag there is a set of wrought iron chairs, purchased in Paris and sent to Granny Hawkins by her son Daniel. I have a dandy kerosene lamp from my mother and if you look closely at the shelf in the top center of the picture you'll see a Beaver skull. Our intrepid Husky found the skull along the river trails one morning last winter. The beaver are not only the reason the French colonized the Illinois Country, they also are responsible for killing several of the Hackberry trees I used to build the cabin.
Finally we have the washroom complete with basin, bucket and washboard. My sister gave me the washboard. She found it in the garage of her first home in New Albany Indiana. As you can see I still have a lot of work to do on sealing up the walls but I'll be warm, clean and well fed while I work on them. 

Bonne nuit les amis!