Living in history
By Niki Turner
I'll admit to a lifelong fascination with history. I spent entire weeks of my childhood pretending I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Nellie Bly was the first biography that inspired me to pursue journalism. When I started homeschooling my children, that interest in history was revived (to the point that my plea to visit the wagon ruts that remain from the pioneers in southwestern Wyoming is now a family joke).
So last month I became the owner/publisher of a 132-year-old newspaper and moved into a 104-year-old house. I'm now literally immersed in history, and I love it.
The house we leased was built in 1912. It was owned by the same family that built it for most of the last century, and I think only one owner (our current landlady, a fellow history lover) since then. I talked to the grand-niece of the original owner at a historical society meeting today. We're going to get together. Some things have been updated, of course, but much of the house is in original condition.
The original home builder married a schoolteacher who became the town's first librarian. (The irony!!!) He was a store manager in the same building our newspaper office is in. It's entirely possible my walk to work is the same walk he took. Their daughter became a schoolteacher, and their son was a journalist, historian, and author. How cool is that? It's no wonder this house feels good to me, despite it's quirks (it's seriously tilted to one side, among other old house oddities).
Anyway, I wanted to share some photos, as my Inky sisters asked for updates once we got moved in. There's a lot of work to do... (I dropped one of those cedar balls you put in drawers in the upstairs hall and it disappeared... literally). I'm not terribly superstitious, and if any of the home's former residents are visiting in spirit form, they don't seem upset by the profusion of books and antiques we've hauled in here. Later than afternoon I noticed a gap between the baseboard and the floor just wide enough for that cedar ball, and who knows what else, to disappear between the two floors. Who knows what else is trapped in there in no man's land. Sounds like fodder for a good mystery, doesn't it?
Anyway, I'm on multiple deadlines, so this has to be brief. I'm hoping my new role as editor-in-chief will settle down soon (this weekend we moved our offices across the hall... pictures of that to come), and I'll be able to get back to my fiction and blogging! Here are a few pics of the house (click for details)!