Thursday, August 26, 2010

Missing Chimneys

My faithful reader Karen Anne always makes good observations and asks interesting questions.  In the comments to my last post, she asked "I was looking at the 1906 photo - what happened to the chimneys? Were there fireplaces, no longer existent?"

In the 1906 photo to the right of the posts, you can clearly see three chimneys, rather ornate ones at that, sticking up out of the roof.  The chimneys appear to be missing in the 2006 and 2009 photos; in fact, one chimney is still there but the other two are indeed gone.  The remaining chimney is the one to the left in the 1906 photo.  It's been chopped off to a short stub of its former stately self and isn't visible from the front of the house.  That chimney is connected to the (formerly) coal-burning fireplace in the front parlor and is now the central vent for the HVAC system in the house, a not particularly efficient arrangement.  (The local HVAC guy told me that because the chimney is fairly large in diameter it takes a long time to "draw" and uses a lot of natural gas in order to get the house up to an even temperature.  I'd say he's right, based on an average monthly cost of $275 to comfortably heat my house in the winter.)  The chimney to the right in the 1906 photo was no doubt connected at one time to the other fireplace in the house, which is in the second parlor.  It was also a coal-burning fireplace.  Incidentally, the second parlor is the room "behind" the screened-in porch in the most current photo of the house.  The third chimney, which you can barely see in the 1906 photo, is behind the chimney to the right.  Whatever it was once connected to is now gone.  I suspect it was once the chimney for the kitchen range.  I'm not really sure where the kitchen was originally located, but there is the "ghost" of a stovepipe hole in my bedroom wall, so perhaps that was once the kitchen. 

Mare, the King of Wishful Thinking, once chirped, "Ya know, it'd be pretty easy to rebuild those three chimneys."  I don't know about all that.  Having someone rebuild chimneys that are only ornamental is fairly far down on the to-do list, but I never say never.  After all, I'm the girl who spent hours gluing interior doors back together.


  1. Yowza, that seems like a lot to heat a house that size. (insert bug eyes here)

  2. Hey-

    I'd put "replacing the ornamental chimneys" right after "buying a white horse for the lawn". That's missing in the recent photos, too.

    Working on the heat situation/bill? That would be WAAAYY up on the top...

  3. WOW! $275 heating bill? I cry when mine is half that amount!