Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Field Trip

On Saturday Charles and I enjoyed a trip up to Toledo.  We got our Christmas shopping about half finished.  But the highlight for me was our first stop - Toledo Architectural Artifacts.  AA is an architectual salvage business located in an old downtown warehouse.  I've spent many hours on their website drooling, and the place is just as unbelievable in person. 
The collection of vintage bathroom fixtures was one of the 'funnest' areas:

There were more sinks behind me when I took the above picture (as well as toilets in the same range of colors). 

Although AA has items contemporary to our house, in general the late nineteenth century through the mid twentieth century dominate their inventory.  Oodles of Victorian, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, and a healthy dose of the purely eclectic, too.

We brought with us the one remaning sash from our springhouse windows, but left without finding any matching six pane sash.  I also intended to scour AA's inventory of interior hooks hoping to find some to match our remaining hooks from the boards along the walls in our two front bedrooms and upstairs hall.  This would have been much easier if I hadn't absent-mindedly left the bag with our hooks on the Einsel House kitchen counter. 

I'll be emailing the pictures below to AA to see if they have anything that matches.

(I obviously raided the kids' block basket for that last picture.)  I haven't taken an exact count, but I believe we need around 15 of the top hook and 6 or 7 of the bottom one.  I realize that odds of finding a perfect match for either of these hooks are not great - and the odds of finding 15, or 6 or 7, perfect matches are downright poor.  But that won't stop me from trying!

Here are some of the top style hooks at work in our bedroom:

The ribbons are holding up some new artwork.  There's a third picture that will hang on the left, but I need to get more ribbon before I can hang it.

I suspect at least a few readers are scrunching up their foreheads in puzzlement about the bluebird, or more particularly, about the ribbon holding up the bluebird.  My own forehead was rather scrunched up while hanging the picture.  The problem is that the existing spacing for the hooks is too close for the size of the pictures.  If I put the bluebird ribbon solely on the left hook the two pictures bump into each other.  If I put the bluebird ribbon solely on the right hook the two pictures are just too far apart.  So I split the difference.  Well...straddled the difference I guess. 

I suppose I could drill new bird-picture-appropriate-spaced holes for the hooks, but I'm hesitant for several reasons.  First, I'm always loath to put new holes/cuts/marks of any kind in the Einsel House woodwork.  Second, respacing the hooks would require sanding the wood clean, measuring for and drilling the new holes, filling the old holes, more sanding, and finally refinishing the wood.  (In other words, you could replace that last sentence with 'Second, I'm feeling lazy at the moment.' and that would be true as well.)  And third, I suspect I might actually like my creative ribbonwork.  I'll have to hang the third picture up before I completely make up my mind.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday at the Springhouse

Saturday was a simply lovely day here - sunny and 68, which doesn't happen too often in mid November in Ohio.  Charles and I both spent the day outside, Charles tearing into the hodge-podge built/piled along the north wall of the little unpainted shed beside the driveway and me working back by the springhouse.  I was thrilled to be able to finish the new stone walls in front of the springhouse.

Here's a picture taken about 2 hours into my work on Saturday:

I always feel about three times my age the morning after this type of work. 

There was a small pile of stones beside the springhouse left over from earlier work, but I used those quickly.  So my work on Saturday was puncuated by trips down into the creek bed to find new stones and then lugging them up to the springhouse.  A couple of times I had to interrupt Charles's work on the shed to have him move a stone that I simply could not handle.

Here's the same walk pictured above (from the opposite angle) taken about four hours later:

This next picture was taken about mid afternoon.  I was standing just inside the springhouse door to get this view.  The walk pictured above is the one that goes to the left in the picture below:

An end-of-the-day overview is next:

The blue tarp is covering a large pile of dirt.  (You can see by the depth of the stone walls how much we had to dig out to make the new stone walks level with the threshhold of the springhouse's door.)  The tarp and dirt will probably have to stay put until we begin the gargantuan task of rebuilding the stone bridge.

As I put this post together tonight I decided to dig back through some earlier pictures of the springhouse.  I'll close with a springhouse picture taken on October 17, 2009:

There's a lot more work to be done to this little building, but when I opened that last picture I realized anew just how far we've already come.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looks Nice

When the UPS man got out of his truck on Tuesday I could see him eyeing the house.  And as he handed me the new rug for our dining room he said, "I've got to tell you, coming up the drive here I was thinking, 'Man.  This place looks nice.'"  Ah, that warms the cockles of an old house lover's heart. 

And I know exactly what he meant.  I just wonder if he noticed as he left that watching the house recede in the rearview mirror is just as nice.  : )

As for the new rug, here it is:

It is an indoor/outdoor rug, which hopefully will hold up well (it admittedly takes a lot of abuse being under the table.)  It was shipped rolled up, so there are still a few waves in it that should smooth out with time.

As you might be able to see in the picture, the table legs each have small wheels on the bottom.  I don't want the wheels to leave dents in the new rug, so I picked up some clear casters to put under them.  But now every time I walk through the dining room those casters worry me.  Surely this isn't the beginning of a slippery slope that ends with a clear plastic cover on the sofa? 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Rhineharts Revisited

One of the highlights of last summer was a visit from Jim Rhinehart, a great, great grandson of Noah and Rebecca Rhinehart, the first owners of our home. This was during my little June/July semi-hiatus from the blog.  With some help from Jim, and after some additional research on my own, I’ve learned a bit more information about Noah and Rebecca, and I’m long overdue for sharing that information here.

A study of the first property owners in our county reveals that the land our house was built on was purchased from the United States government on June 3, 1822 by Jacob Rhinehart (Noah’s father). Jacob came here from Fairfield County, Ohio and according to family lore died in a barn raising accident shortly after arriving, leaving behind a young widow and infant son Noah. Also according to family lore, Jacob’s widow Susannah remarried and moved "back east" leaving young Noah to be raised as an orphan. Two of the questions raised by my earlier research on the Rhinehart family were who raised Noah? And what became of his mother, Susannah? A little more digging and some answers are starting to piece together.

By the summer of 1830, Noah Rhinehart would have been 9 years old; his mother Susannah would have been 27. The federal census taken that year includes the tiny family of a "Susan Rinehart" living in Rush Creek Township, Fairfield County, Ohio. The household consisted of one female between the ages of 20-30 and two young males, one under 5 years of age and the other between the ages of 5-10. It makes sense that Jacob’s widow would have returned to Fairfield County following her husband’s death, and the enumeration strongly suggests it is for ‘our’ Susannah and Noah, but I’m stumped by the male under the age of 5. If it is a younger child of Jacob and Susannah then Jacob’s death was apparently in the mid-to-late 1820’s rather than the early 1820’s. And what became of this apparent younger brother to Noah? (As usual with genealogy – answer one question and you raise two more.)

As for Susannah, she must have maintained some presence in the area where she and Jacob had bought land and planned to live. Our house is located about 3 miles north of a county line, and records from the county just to our south include the marriage of a Susannah Rhinehart to G.T. Denman on April 14, 1835. Noah was one month shy of 14 years old when his mother remarried. His new stepfather was Gersham Terry Denman, born about 1780. Like Susannah, Gersham had been previously married and had children from his first marriage.

The 1840 census records Gersham and Susannah Denman living in the county of their marriage, with three children in the household: a male between the ages of 5-10 (Gersham’s youngest child from his first marriage, Andrew Denman, born about 1832), a female under the age of 5 (Martha J. Denman, born to Gersham and Susannah about 1838) and a male under the age of 5 (Gersham T. Denman, Jr., born to Gersham and Susannah about 1840). Noah, then barely 19, was not enumerated with the family. At that age, it is quite likely that Noah was living with another family as a hired farm laborer. Out of curiosity, I looked up the family of Benjamin and Anna Huddle (Noah’s future in-laws) in the 1840 census, however there is no male Noah’s age enumerated with their family. But living just three houses away from the Huddles was the Daniel Troxel family, consisting of a male 20-30 (presumably Daniel), a female 20-30 (presumably Daniel’s wife), a female 5-10 (presumable Daniel’s daughter), a male under 5 (presumably Daniel’s son) and a male 15-20 (hmmmm… too old to be Daniel’s son, but a perfect age to be a hired hand). How I wish the 1840 census listed everyone in the household by name!

Noah Rhinehart reappears on the official record on April 6, 1844 when he purchases the land where our house currently stands from Jacob Rhinehart (his deceased father?). Curiously, another deed for the exact same parcel of land was recorded on January 29, 1845, this time transferring ownership to Noah Rhinehart from G.T. Denman and his wife Susannah (Noah’s mother and step-father). Although I have little more than a gut feeling upon which to base this, I believe that our house was probably built during the summer and fall of 1844. Noah was twenty-three years old, and undoubtedly planning ahead for his marriage to Rebecca Huddle which would occur the following spring.

The story of Noah and Rebecca’s years in their stone house remains as told in my earlier post here. Meanwhile, Noah’s mother and stepfather remained living just to the south. By 1850 Noah had four young half-siblings; in addition to Martha and Gersham, Jr., there were now Abner Denman (born about 1842) and Catherine Denman (born about 1844). Sometime in the 1850’s Gersham and Susannah Denman did move, but they moved not "back east" as family lore claimed, but north instead – to Minnesota to be precise.

There is one final interesting note about the Rhineharts. As stated in my earlier post, Noah and Rebecca sold the stone house in 1864 and moved to Shelby County, Ohio.  It turns out this was not a random relocation - Noah joined a large extended family in Shelby County, it being the home to his Rhinehart grandparents as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Noah Rhinehart's life is still puncuated by tragedy - particularly his father's death in the 1820's and his son's death in the 1860's - but contrary to my earlier image of Noah as an orphan I now see that he had the support of family throughout his life.  Other than a few years just before his marriage, it appears that Noah was raised by his own mother.  And Noah and Rebecca's relocation to Shelby County suggests that, in spite of his father's very early death, Noah maintained close contact with his Rhinehart kin.  I'm relieved for Noah.  That's probably kind of silly since the man passed away more than a hundred years ago, but still, it's comforting to know that the first owner of our home had the love and support of family to fall back on in times of sorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Of Home and School

That last post was quite fun to write, but I don't want to let it sit in "first place" for too long - especially when I have something like this that I can share:

With November officially here the kids' classes are moving on to turkeys and pilgrims; Monday's bookbags were packed with October's pumpkin and bat projects.  Neil's project pictured above really made me smile.  The whole page would not fit on our scanner, but the last word of the instructions is "survive".  And Neil's answers, from left to right, are "House", "Bat House", and "Bug".    (Technically, we're trying to convince our bats that they can survive on only 2 of those 3, but I can't blame Neil for answering the way he did.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I'm going to spend this post whining.  I'm apparently also going to spend this post being blunt.

Last Wednesday
5:00pm - With trick-or-treating only 24 hours away, I settle in at the dining room table to make Neil the ghost costume he requested.  I've got white sheets, scissors and some thread.  How difficult can a ghost costume be?

8:00pm - Very difficult.  Thoroughly frustrated, I drive into Walmart and come home with one of the last Super Mario Bros. "Mario" costumes left in the store. 

(Highlights from the three hours in between include Neil posing in a perfect billowy ghost costume followed by Neil walking smack into a wall in our dining room because the eye holes in said perfect billowy ghost costume kept shifting so he could not see where he was going.  Followed by me deciding that instead of two small holes, I would cut one big hole for Neil to see out of.  Followed by Neil posing in a perfect billowy Muslim hijab head covering.  Not what I was going for.  Followed by me deciding that I would put two eye holes in the pillow case and hope that would stay in place better than a whole loose sheet.  Followed by Neil posing in a perfect KKK costume.  Definately not what I was going for.  Followed by the trip to Walmart.)

9:00pm - Neil (never one to like change) announces he doesn't like Mario and isn't going to wear any costume.

Last Thursday
4:00pm - At my aunt's house for a hair cut, Neil announces he does not like Mario and isn't going to wear any costume.

4:30pm - Neil does not like Mario and isn't going to wear any costume.

4:45pm - Neil does not like Mario and isn't going to wear any costume.

5:00pm - Other kids (in costume) start appearing on the sidewalks outside my aunt's house, empty plastic pumpkins and pillowcases in hand.

5:05pm - Neil decides Mario might not be so bad.

5:15-6:45pm - A rather enjoyable, if somewhat cold, hour and a half follows.

7:30pm - Finally back at the EH, Charles and I begin packing for a weekend camping trip. 

Last Friday
7:45am - Frantic activity at the Einsel House.  Last minute packing for the camping trip.  Costumes into bookbags for the kids' school Halloween parties.  Packing a lunch for Cecilia's fall harvest day field trip.  More last minute packing for camping trip.  Everyone is at least 10 minutes late leaving the house.

2:00pm - Aunt Flo decides to join me for the weekend.  (I debated including this detail here, but you know what, this little bit definately fits into a  post titled "Grumpy".)

4:15pm - Meet family friend Adam and all pile into the van to begin the drive down to Lake Hope State Park.

6:00pm on a Friday night - not the best time to be in Columbus attempting to merge from Route 23 onto Route 270

6:20pm on a Friday night - still not a good time to be in Columbus attempting to merge from Route 23 onto Route 270

8:00pm - winding our way south somewhere in Vinton County, Neil announces "I need to use the restroom."

8:05pm - Neil: "I really need to use the potty."

8:10pm - Neil: "I REALLY need to go potty!"

8:12pm - Neil: "I CAN'T WAIT!!!"

8:13pm - Charles pulls off onto some steep stone road.  The three passengers of the van who are able to pee standing up exit the van and line up on the side of the road.

8:15pm - We pull into the drive for Lake Hope State Park and locate Cabin #14.  We unload the van and all go straight to bed.

Last Saturday
1:15am - I wake up.  With a stomach flu. 

9:00am - Avoiding me like the plague, everyone else leaves the cabin to enjoy Lake Hope's ROAR Day activies (ROAR stands for Rural Ohio Appalachia Revisited).

10:00am - Cecilia is dropped off back at Cabin #14.  With the stomach flu.

Mid Afternoon - Charles reappears at Cabin #14.  With the stomach flu.

Thanks to my parents and Adam, Neil is able to enjoy the ROAR activities and has a very busy and full day. 

Last Sunday
8:00am - I wake up feeling weak and a bit shaky, but no longer nauseous.  Cecilia wakes up chipper and joins Neil for a game of Jr. Monopoly.  Charles wakes up feeling weak, a bit shaky and still nauseous. 

9:30am - Since Charles clearly isn't up to any hiking, my dad and he leave to head back north.  The rest of us finish packing up the cabin and take off for Rock House State Park.  The kids have a blast hiking and crawling around inside Rock House.

8:00pm - Finally all back at the Einsel House, I do some basic unpacking but the house is still very disheveled at lights out.

6:10am - My nose feels cold as I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock.  I snuggle down under the covers thinking how good it is to be home. 

6:10-6:40am - ...I hit snooze a few more times...

6:45am - Finally downstairs, I notice Cecilia is shivering when she gives me a hug.  Hmmm.  I walk over to the thermostat.  It's set at 68 degrees.  The house is 59 degrees.  Damn.

9:00am - I'm half an hour late getting to work and the house is still mostly trashed, but a technician from the company that installed the furnace is supposed to stop by sometime during the day to look at the furnace.  The furnace they installed barely seven months ago.  (Just how much abuse could the thing have taken between the months of April-October anyway?)

2:00pm - Furnace tech calls.  Some gas valve is the problem, he'll get a replacement and install it tomorrow.  In the meantime he overrides the thermostat so the heat pump will continue running despite the cooler-than-a-heat-pump-prefers temperatures. 

5:00pm - My dad leaves a message on my voicemail telling me we're in the dog house for giving he and my mom the stomach flu.

7:00pm - I call my parents to apologize about the flu.  Mom sounds rough.  She tells me family friend Adam now has the flu too.

10:00pm - Kids in bed and the house 1/2 put back together the heat pump kicks in.  LOUDLY.  No wonder they don't suggest you run the thing in temperatures below freezing.

6:10am - Noting with relief that my nose is not cold to the touch, I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock.  I snuggle down under the covers thinking how good it is to be home.

6:10-6:40am - ...I hit snooze a few more times...

7:45am - It's school picture day, so the morning has been another frantic one, but Charles and the kids are out the door on time.  I'm heading through the house one last time to turn off lights when I stop suddenly in the dining room, staring in disbelief at the rug underneath the table.  Apparently Tiny the Cat has the stomach flu too.

8:50am - I'm 20 minutes late getting to work and the house is still 1/2 trashed.  What remains of the four puddles of diarrhea on the dining room rug are soaking under wet rags.  Larger dry rags are shoved under the rug to protect the newly refinished hardwood floor underneath.  I'm beyond caring what the furnace tech will think when he comes to repair the furnace.

2:00pm - The furnace tech calls to tell me the wrong part was shipped for our furnace and they won't get the correct part until tomorrow.  He hopes the heat pump is keeping up in these cooler temps.

5:30pm - I eat two chocolate fudge poptarts for supper while shopping on-line for a new dining room rug.  Stupid rugs are expensive.

6:00-8:00pm - I derive a perhaps undue amount of pleasure from the writing of this post.

But I really should stop now and finish cleaning up the mess in my dining room...