Beautiful Wreck


As the late Paul Harvey used to say, “And now folks, the rest of the story.”

If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s blog, we made a mysterious discovery underneath the house as the demolition continued. As the last post ended, I had no idea what the purpose of the structure might be, but promised to find out.

Well folks, it is not a pizza oven. ūüôā ¬†According to our contractor, Marc Engelke, in the 1800’s fireplaces were built with screens or grates in the bottom. When the screens were removed or lifted the ashes from the fire would fall below to be removed at a later time. In the early 1900s the construction of fireplaces was changed to have the opening for the ash removal in the back as to make the¬†cleaning¬†easier.

However, for some time, fireplaces continued to be constructed with the pit area beneath the hearth as in the past. It was non-functioning with no connection to the fireplace. Knowing southern men as I do, I can well¬†imagine some stubborn¬†old mason saying to his crew, “I’ve built ’em this way for the last 40 years. I’m not gonna stop now!” Seems a shame though that soon it will be covered again for perhaps another 100 years.

As for everything else, we are pretty much at a standstill. We are waiting on the engineer to give his final report. We need him to tell us where extra support is needed as we are removing some of the walls from the first floor. Once we have that information we will submit our request for the construction permit. Hopefully that won’t take too long. And then we’re off!

In the meantime, we are planning and selecting. I love it! I find myself thinking that I’m kind of glad that things are taking a little longer than expected. That way the whole experience will last longer. What’s wrong with me?

Today we are having our second meeting with¬†Moluf’s Kitchen & Bath. I’m not sure if David felt the same way, but I had a blast as we chose some of the plumbing fixtures. Today we should be able to finish but we have one little glitch.

We are having trouble finding the tub we’d like to have for the upstairs hall bath. If any of you have any ideas on where to find a 1930’s apron or deco style corner tub (preferably left-handed) please let me know. I didn’t even know bathtubs had hands! I’ve attached a photo below for you to reference.


I thought it might interest you to see the projected time line or sequence of events. I find it helpful to reference as to know what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months.  Timeline 10 Sutherland    This is the timeline as it will unfold after we receive the construction permit.

My plan is to have some information about the history of the house for next time. I have some photographs from the early to mid 1900s that I’d like to share. I’ve even caught wind that there might be a ghost living within her walls!

As I close, I have to say that I am repeatedly amazed as people I run into at the farmers market or grocery say they are reading this blog. I am extremely flattered and excited to have you share this journey. ¬†I mentioned my surprise to my friend Jim, he said “Cindy, people watch strangers do this same thing for hours on television. Why don’t you think they would be interested?” Well, I guess when you put it that way, I’d be interested too. So to you all, “Thank you!”

Also if you haven’t yet, please sign up for future post using your email address below. And please let me know if I can answer any ¬†questions or if you have comments.

Until next time, y’all take care!





2 responses to “Beautiful Wreck

  1. Jim Redman-Gress

    I’m loving this!


  2. Jonathan Warrington

    Glad you have some good pics of the fireplace parts that won’t be visible soon so you can show folks the cool feature under the floor.


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