House treasures

As many of you know, when moving into/renovating and old house, there’s often treasures and history to be found. As we’ve been working away, we’ve had a few conversations with the neighbours, and pieced together a bit of the history.

We knew from our lawyer that the home was owned for a very long time by a lady named Mary Campbell. (The infamous Mary from under the wallpaper). She had at least two sons (one of whom was named Robert, I can’t remember the other) and when she passed in 2015, the house passed to them.

I learned from the neighbour on the left of us, that Robert lived with Mary, and when she died, he lived there until his death early this year. Mary was 94 when she died, so I’m going to assume Robert was at least in his 70s, possibly 80s when he departed.

The neighbour across the street didn’t say much about Robert himself, but said that Robert’s brother was supposed to take care of the house (repairs/maintenance) when Mary died, but we all know that didn’t happen. He also confirmed our suspicions that the garage had been used as a grow-op. (Legal here, but only four plants per residence – and from the evidence left behind, they were growing a lot more than that!)

We had an HVAC guy come out to quote central air, and he grew up on the street behind us. He told us Robert was disabled. He didn’t specify if it was mentally, or physically, but apparently Robert was notorious for riding his lawnmower down to the local pub for a few drinks, and doing donuts on it on the road out front after.

So, our house was home to at least one character (that did a lot of bathroom chain smoking!)

As we’ve been working, we come across a few things Mary and Robert left behind. You’ve already seen the elephant planter, which is still my favourite.

But after moving a small cabinet by the side door, I found this glove, sock and cowl. I

I can just picture Mary putting on her warm woolies in preparation to go out in the snow. Maybe to walk the little dog we know they had (though I don’t know what kind yet).

In the kitchen, there’s a built in buffet. While cleaning it out, I found a couple crayons and an old dried up snowman sticker.

Perhaps some grandchildren came to visit Mary and she kept some colouring supplies in there.

Under the counters by the kitchen sink, we found this lovely crystal fruit bowl.

It actually matches a crystal vase I have (which an old employee left behind in the office when I started working there.)

Mom found this can of carpet deodorizer in the bathroom.

We know from the state of the carpets and the fact that it was full, it had never been used! And judging from that can design… I’m going to say it’s been in the house since the mid-80s….

While pulling carpet, I found a pretty green marble.

And under another carpet, these little treasures

I think the plastic canvas is meant to be a snow shovel, but the “snow” has seen better days. It went in the trash, but I hung the little hummbing bird sun catcher on the kitchen window for now.

And the last treasure is Dave’s favourite. You may recall from previous pictures, that there is a closet under the stairs. It’s big and deep, and Dave has taken to calling it the “Harry Potter room”. He has plans to line it with cedar and turn it into a nice space for winter coats, etc. While he was cleaning it out he found this little man…

If you know your Potter lore, you’ll remember that Harry had knights in his cupboard. Well…we’ve got a little green soldier in ours!

And… I’m sure there’s more treasures just waiting to be found!

14 thoughts on “House treasures

  1. What fun! I loved piecing together the history of the houses we’ve been in, too. It’s good to know your own history that all of the neighbors already know! (the hvac guys can do a clean of your vents and that will go a long way toward removing the nicotine smell, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my! How fun is all of that? It’s like a treasure hunt to find out the history of your house! It’s good to know that there are neighbors who also know things and can fill in the gaps. The toy soldier in the closet is so much like Harry Potter. I always wanted to go into the closet with him and experience that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The bowl is really pretty.

    I love seeing what you come across. Other than some bits of old newspaper that was used as insulation in the attic, we haven’t found anything here. Of course, I haven’t pulled up the floorboards in the attic. Who KNOWS what might be under there!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Araignee

    That is so fascinating! What great finds. The only thing that we found here-minus the ugly gold and orange carpets and drapes-were lots and lots of mouse traps in every nook and cranny. Ugh.
    I can just imagine that whole house breathing a big sigh of relief that it is finally in good hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shirley Elliott

    How wonderful that you are discovering the history of the house. You guys have such wonderful plans for the house.


  6. catladymac

    That soldier originally came with a paper US flag on a toothpick-sized pole for him to carry. Ten cents at Woolworth’s in the 50’s.


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