Posts tagged ‘vintage’


Vintage Kitchen Decor

Vintage glass cake plate with a light blue edge

I haven’t been working on the house as much, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shopping for it! I always intended to post some of the things I purchased for the house, so I guess I’ll get to it. Everyone likes looking at pretty things rather than crumbling walls! I do have a confession to make…I love vintage kitchen stuff. Colorful glassware, interesting plates, weird baking stuff; if it’s old and shiny, I’m there.  I love the novelty of these old items, like the vintage eggbeater, as well as the usefulness of them. These things aren’t purely knickknacks. I find that old sifters are my favorite to use, and the kettle, while not old, will be used and add a nice pop of color to the kitchen. So on my recent journeys, I’ve been shopping.

As I said in this post, I want the kitchen to be primarily white and black. These items are the jewels, the interesting pieces that add color and personality. Not all of them were purchased. My Aunt gave me the Fiesta pitcher, which is awesome. She gave me quite a few other nice pieces as well. A few days ago when I was taking all the stuff to where I store it, I stopped by the house with the stuff and my camera to take some pictures of my recent purchases in the house.

 Anyway, here is a look at some of the things that I have collected for the kitchen over the past few months.



Eleanor is Unstable, and Kind of Cheap: A Book Post

Book Coverf          Image from the book    


Property of the Library

Eleanor was so unstable, that the cover completely disintegrated after scanning. Half of this book was missing, and the whole thing was very poor condition. It also looks like rats may have chewed the edges of the pages. What can I say? She had a hard life. She was also very cheap, considering she was stolen from the Pratt Library! Maybe I should try to return it? Now, I do not know where or when the Pratt Library was there. The local elementary school has a Library, but I’m not sure these two libraries are one in the same. As you can see, the library was established by the “T.G. Society.” I don’t know who or what this society was, either! The book was donated to the library by Martin Hansford. I will have to find more information about him. Felix and Marshall Hansford were very prominent brothers in the area, so it is safe to say that Martin was probably related to them, but how he is related to them, I am not sure. Was he in the “T.G. Society”? Who knows, and Eleanor is not telling.


A Brief History of Pratt, WV 1781-1913

So, I bought an old house, in an old town. I could just study the history of the house, but then the story would have no context. I would not understand about the climate, the feeling of  the town when the house was built. Knowledge about the era, about the Zeitgeist, leads to a better understanding of the people who lived there.

Inside the old church. Too bad this one was torn down.

 The town of Pratt was established in 1905. It had a few names before it accepted “Pratt” as the name. The area was settled as early as 1781, and early settlers trickled in until about 1850. Two prominent families in the area settled here, the Hansford family and the Morris family. Dickinson Morris built his own home, “Harmony Hill”, and laid out the town in 1851, naming it Clifton. Prior to the establishment of Clifton, a church was formed. The Old Kanawha Baptist Church was established in 1796 by James Johnstone.  The church is still around today, though only on the same lot, not in the same building. In the winter of 1861-62, Clifton served as the headquarters of the 37th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The Marshall Hansford House was the headquarters of Union Colonel Siber.

After the Civil War, The town expanded, and adopted a new name “Dego”, used from 1873-1899. Obviously, when my

Mining Tents at Pratt, from the state archives

 house was built, the town was “Dego”. The Town Hall was established in 1875. In the 1880s,  coal companies became prominent in much of upper  Kanawha Valley, and Dego was no exception. In 1889 the Charles Pratt Coal Company made Dego the home of their headquarters. This was kind of a big deal, as The Charles Pratt Coal Company owned an extensive amount of mines in Paint Creek, an area adjacent to Dego. the town was renamed “Pratt”, after the coal company,  when it was incorporated in 1905. Many of the structures built by the coal company, including the clubhouse for miners and the company houses still stand in the town today.

Mother Jones, from the state archives

In 1912-13, Pratt gained notoriety as the place where “Mother” Jones was imprisoned during the “Mine Wars”. The Mine Wars were a series of confrontations between striking miners and the coal companies. After the Mine Wars were over, it was estimated that they cost nearly a million dollars and caused the violent deaths of 50 people, not including the miners that dies of malnutrition and starvation while on strike. Pratt served as the headquarters for the coal company guards, or “thugs”, and eventually became the headquarters of the WV National Guard when 3 separate times martial law was instituted during the mine wars. Martial law was necessary in Pratt and the surrounding areas because of the “state of lawlessness and insurrection” in the town. Because it was the headquarters to these factions, Pratt also served as the site for the “bullpens” where many striking miners were detained by  “military tribunals”. Mother Mary Jones was a union organizer that was imprisoned in Pratt in Mrs. Carney’s Boarding House. She managed to smuggle a message to Indiana Senator John W. Kern, He read her message on the floor of the senate. Mother Jones was put on trial in the I.O.O.F. Building, but was released by Governor Henry D. Hatfield was able to instigate a settlement between the coal operators and miners.

The mine wars were probably Pratt’s most notable event in history. I will have to do a lot more research to find out what occurred between the end of the mine wars and now. Maybe I should contact my local historian again?

The Train Station that use to stand in the town.



Spontaneous Discoveries, and Old Photos

A few days ago,  I was reminded that best adventures are unplanned. I fully intended to walk around Pratt, and take pictures of some of the remaining historical details for the blog. I started as planned, but was quickly sidetracked by a moving sale. While there, I met one of the town historians and keeper of the keys to the town archive. I had gone to the Old Town Hall and asked before, but it was during a sale, and I’m not sure the women working at the time knew what I was asking about. This lovely lady from the yard sale, showed me the archives, which were awesome, and let me photograph many of the old pictures, articles, and paperwork. I came away with a wealth of knowledge, and I’m sure there will be many blog posts stemming from this encounter in the future. I definitely appreciate her help and storytelling abilities.

It is because of this that I ended up with old-home-owner gold. A very old picture of the house, lots of information about the family that built it and lived there, and an interesting,  albeit grainy,  picture of the original builder!

The Trimble House - Home of one of the earlier families that settled the town.

Look how small the maples are! To me, it looks like there have not been  many changes to the house over the years.  The bay is original, although the angle of the photograph makes the roofline look smaller. The bay window  does not have the original windows, unlike the rest of the house. these are more decorative, and may be stained glass, I can’t tell. Unfortunately, now they are old aluminum windows. Though with the current road configurations, the bay window is towards the side of the house, but the Old County Road use to connect with Trimble Lane, making this the original front of the house. However, this picture is useful in that it tells me that their used to be gingerbread on the columns, which still remain on the house, and that their were no railings. It also shows some of the elaborate woodwork that used to be on the house. Look at the moldings under the bay window!

From Left: Ott Garnette, Ed Johnson, Dillard Jarrett, Joe Bott, James Trimble, and Tom Burke. This old photograph was taken in front of Holt's Store in 1910.


Captions and photographs can be found in Pratt’s Bicentennial Book, published in 1976. More information on the Trimble family can be found in this post.


Another Brick in the Wall?

The Trimble Brick Plant

Another history post! Remember the old brick I found in the house, mentioned in this post, marked Trimble, O? My uncle was intrigued and looked into it a bit. He found this site and this site mention a Trimble Brick Company in Trimble, Ohio. Turns out, that is where the brick was manufactured. In the 1880’s -1930’s brickmaking flourished within the Hocking Valley in Ohio, one of these plants was the Trimble Brick Company. I could not find an exact date that the Trimble Brick Company was established, but it was in full swing in 1904. It specialized in paving brick, sidewalk brick, and some building brick. Trimble, Ohio maintains that brick from the Trimble Brick Plant was used to pave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909-1910. Yet, the Trimble Brick Company was not the only brick company to make this claim. Another Ohio company, The Metropolitan Paving Company also claims that their brick was used for this purpose. The speedway claims that only brick from Indiana was used.

Mining the Brick Materials for the Trimble Plant, 1910

What makes all of this more interesting was that the first street paved with bricks from the Hocking Valley, bricks made specifically for paving streets, was in Charleston, WV. It was paved in 1873, with “good quality brick” and was reportedly still in working order in 1929.

A better picture of the brick

So, even though I know where and when the brick was manufactured and made, I still have no idea why it was at the house. Did someone take it because of the Trimble connection? That is my guess. If I was a mason, I would think it was pretty cool to have a brick with my name on it. I wonder if there was more to the story, though. Was this brick one that was used to pave the roads of Charleston? Did James Trimble or one of his sons help pave , or repair the road in Charleston, and that is how they ended up with it? That is all supposition, and I will probably never know for sure, but I did end up with a great souvenir!

Another view of the Trimble Brick plant


House Photo Update, February 2011

All the old stuff is out! The house has completely changed.


One Week, No Regrets…

A Mahogany Drum Table and Victorian Chair, Our First Pieces of Furniture.

I have been a home owner for one week today. We have already put change into motion for the Trimble House. Contractors are being interviewed, cleaning and de-cluttering have commenced, and the materials for re-wiring the electricity have been purchased. It is interesting how quickly I want to get moving on a house that has been standing for over a century! I am definitely the impatient one in our relationship.

Victorian Chair, the complete one.

To commemorate the anniversary I bought our first pieces of furniture today! Actually, it was just a great find from Goodwill at a steal. The find: two Victorian chairs and a mahogany drum table. The chairs will be easy to recover, and I think they will fit well in the bay window. I don’t plan to buy a lot of furniture until later, these were just such a good price, and kind of perfect. I had to make an exception.  One of the cleaning guys broke the piece of trim off the back of one of the chairs, but I have the piece, and it is very repairable.