July 3

Everyone got it right.  It is a boot scraper.  Congratulations everyone!

The last place we went was the smithy.

I love the outside of this old building. It has so much character. Being a farm girl at heart, I have a lot of affection for old barns.

The inside was very dark, and the “smithy” woman was NOT NICE at all. Maybe she was having a bad hair day.

Although, if I were working around this type of heat, I might be cranky too. She said that she mostly works in the 1800º range. It felt like it inside. We didn’t stay long because of snarklady. She really acted like we were bothering her.

Across the street from the smithy is that lovely house that is for sale. I would love to live in Roscoe…except in winter. Roscoe is almost all on the side of a hill. sled.gif

We are now at the end of our brief tour of historic Roscoe Village. There is sooooo much more that I didn’t photograph. You just have to come see it for yourself….and then there is always ME! biggrin.gif

What was your favorite part of the tour?

July 2

This is, indeed, a leeching system for making lye. You take straw and ashes, dump water over them and the liquid that comes out is lye.  Can you imagine not only having to make your own soap, but having to make your own lye as well?  I have made soap many times, but I have purchased my lye.  Something also that they would do, was after the soap making process, there was a lot of liquidy/lye/soapy stuff that didn’t solidify.  They would use that to mop the floors with.

No one was able to guess this lovely contraption. It is a meat grinder.  Nope….I wouldn’t have guessed either. I thought it was some sort of device to wring out the wet laundry.

After we left the doctor’s house, we went to the broom makers shop. I didn’t get any pictures, but I did get some very interesting information. The historian showed us brooms that were made from willow twigs, and dried corn, and one of a whittled stick.

She said that these didn’t work so well…..duh! She went on to say that as time when on, people kept searching for something better to make their brooms out of. That is when someone saw the sorghum plant that had tassels on it that might make good broom material.

It worked, so they took the seeds of the plants with the tallest tassels on it, and kept planting those till they made a new “kind” of sorghum. Called corn sorghum. That is why they are called corn brooms. I, being the brilliant person that I am, thought that corn brooms were made somehow out of corn. blush.gif

Then we went to the toll house. It was rather boring, but I have a few pictures from there.

The tole house. This is where the canal boats would stop and pay the toles. They had different ways of figuring out how much people cost, animals cost and other freight cost. I didn’t take pictures of that.

The shingles on this house are wood. Which I thought was cool.

Brick must have been made in this area. I thought this was an interesting fact about fire bricks.

I also knew how they plastered a wall for lath/plaster, but I didn’t know how it was done for a brick wall.

I found this interesting too.

Do you know what this is? If not, I will tell you tomorrow.

July 1

Can it really be July already??? This year is really flying by, and I just want to slow down time.

This lovely pot isn’t a spittoon, nor is is a chamber pot. This pot is a foot bath. Those of “higher” means would wash their feet in this sort of pot before they went to bed.

After the upstairs, we descended into the kitchen.

At the back of the hallway, where we came in, there was the door to go down into the kitchen. I took a picture of these stairs because I just couldn’t imagine toting meals up and down these stairs 3 times a day. I wonder how many things were spilled on these stairs.

I also wanted to get a picture of just how large this room was. It was HUGE. I still had a good 10-15 feet behind me. The area beyond the stairs is the “pantry”, and then out to the garden.

This is where allllllll the work took place. You can see the tin oven down at the bottom. The historian that was down here told us that they cook every weekend in here. See the brown thing hanging down on the arm inside the fire place? That is a chicken. They put it on a string, and spin it, putting a pan underneath it to catch all the juices.

This is the work table. The white thing in the middle is sugar. It came in a cone, wrapped in indigo paper. They would have to pinch off sugar with the sugar nips. Also the copper pans in the back, held coffee beans. The smaller pan has raw beans, and the larger pan has the roasted beans. They had to roast their own coffee.

There were all kinds of amazing things in this kitchen. I would have loved to spend my entire day in there, just touching and ooooOOOooooing and aaaaaaaaaaaahhing. This sort of thing really fascinates me. It was, however, very dark down there. Even with the door open, the track lighting and the candles lit….it was almost like a cave.

This thing was in the pantry. I just could not imagine what it was. Do you know??? I’ll tell you tomorrow.

I knew what this thing was. The historian was very surprised that I did know. Do you have an idea?

I wish I had taken a picture of the shelf behind this. It was full of old crocks of every size, with the larger ones on the floor. You can see bits of them in the pictures.

I also took a picture of this wash board and tub. It really makes me appreciate my washing machine. This was also the tub that they bathed in. It also makes me appreciate my shower. What I really liked the most was the clothes pins that are sitting up by the soap.

Hanging by the back door was these old skates. See the holes in the leather? That is where they would button them to the buttons on their shoes.

Going out the back door was the kitchen garden, then down further below was the regular garden. The highway is where the canal was. They used the base of the canal as the foundation to the highway, so the kitchen is at the canal level. I don’t seriously think that back then there would have been enough room for a garden and the actual canal.

This picture is taken just stepping out of the kitchen door and to the left. You can see the rest of the buildings at canal level.

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Do you have a “kitchen garden”?