Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Girls Locker Room or Chimney?

The other day, Stephen decided to go all Indiana Jones on one of our living room walls. By that, I mean that he performed an archaeological dig on this wall using the Dremel:

Which is why there is a large "Keep Calm & Carry On" picture hanging on the wall. It's both utilitarian and a reminder to be calm, cool, and collected. Because it's covering up this:

To be fair, it's not a very large hole. Where does it lead?

This tells me two things... I'm married to a Peeping Tom and there's (apparently) a girl's locker room hidden behind my living room wall. I learn something new everyday....

Ok, so it's not a locker room. Girl's or Boy's.  It is a walled up chimney though. Sadly, it wasn't filled with stolen money from a 30s bank robbery as I had previously hoped. A girl can dream. Besides, there's still the chimney walled up in the back half of the house. Potentially filled with stolen cash... Mmm. Cash chimney. It's weird living in a 120+ year old house and not having a fireplace, but the truth is we have 2 old chimneys and 2 new chimneys. They are just behind walls. Here's the corner of the living room chimney.

Exciting stuff, no?

You can't see much with such a small hole (and no, Stephen, that is not a suggestion to widen the hole!) but if you shine a pen light in there, you can see what the wallpaper in the living room used to look like.


Burgundy, gold, and white floral damask with some westerny checkered pattern.

Hotness. I want it. Actually, I find it amusing that it matches the living room's current color scheme.

Then today, he cut out a second hole to get an even better look at the side of the chimney. Since he was cutting through plaster and lathe, he used the tile bit for the Dremel. The plaster will chew up any other bit. Also, since the false wall is made of plaster and lathe, we can deduce that it was probably put up prior to 1930. Drywall became popular between 1910 & 1930. Since the house was built between 1876 & 1885, this could be the original wallpaper.

"Oh, look, Caroline! I cut out an 'L' for 'Love'!"

I believe I started snorting and laughing hysterically at this point. But he really is a sweetheart. Can't you tell?

So, thanks to the second hole, here's a better view of that stunning Victorian wallpaper:

The concrete-esque looking structure is the outside of the chimney covered in plaster.We think they may have removed the actual fireplace/mantle bit when they walled the whole thing up.

Pretty neat, huh? All this excavating is making me want to climb up into the false ceiling and take even more pictures of the old kitchen and dining room wallpaper. One of these days. And for the record, to keep you all from mentally trouncing my husband for me, I told him he could do it. A while back. I had just forgotten about it. Until now.


  1. That IS neat! I'm sad it wasn't filled with gold. ;) And I'm amused your husband labeled the band-aided wall.

  2. hahaha... the sign for the locker room makes me laugh. It's so interesting to see what's behind there...


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