(Click on images to enlarge.)
In the closet under the stairs, you can see the original, unfinished cedar walls and shelves.
On the right of the entry is a dining room that was once apparently a parlor. There was originally only one door into this room. Chet has added a door (from the period) into the new kitchen at the back of the house. Beside that door is an original window, complete with working shutters, looking into the den.
On the left of the entry is a sitting room. The floor in this room is not original due to the significant wear on the original floor. Obviously, this was the room where most of the living was done. Chet wanted to refinish it as the others but was advised not to do so. There were so many worn places in the floor from decades of use, sanding it down would produce some very thin, shaky boards. The new wood was laid perpendicular to the old for added stability.
The finials on the stairs are quite impressive. Chet told us about seeing how such things were made at Colonial Williamsburg on lathes. Sticks of wood were turned on a human powered lathe – an arrangement of wheels and pulleys reminiscent of a bicycle. The carpenter craftsman used various sized and shaped sharp gouging instruments against the turning piece of wood to make the design.
The light fixture hanging in the upstairs hallway is from First Baptist Church of Blackville (initially known as Blackville Baptist). Chet was able to obtain several of these fixtures when the church was being remodeled. They have special significance in that this house was the first meeting place Blackville Baptist Church.
Some of you know enough about me to be aware that I am rarely at a loss for words. Well, have a good look now, for this is the case! I feel my writing skills failing me as I try to find the right words to express my appreciation to Chet and Cindy Matthews for the time they took to show Ian and me all the details on this remarkable house.
Chet and Cindy, you have my deepest appreciation for providing a day that Ian and I will never forget and for allowing me to share it with the world. It was quite a day – from the first greeting to the best BLT I think I’ve ever had.
On behalf of all of the descendants of Samuel and Mary Clark Reed, I thank you for the love and care you have bestowed on this house and for your willingness to share it with us.