Secrets Revealed: What Stories Have You Learned From Your Home?

Secrets Revealed: What Stories Have You Learned From Your Home?

Tess Wilson
Aug 18, 2014
(Image credit: Tess Wilson)

Our new house has a dark, low-ceilinged cellar, empty except for a water heater and these ancient, handmade shelves. I wiped the dust off of them, but it wasn't until I hit them with the Orange Glo that they revealed their secret: the shadowy imprint of hundreds of canning jars...

Hundreds and hundreds! I have canning aspirations (I mostly freeze the garden bounty because I'm a'scared) and am blown away by the thought of all of the shelves being completely full of precious food—a king's ransom in pickles and preserves. I imagine the family that lived here, the ones who built the house, grew the vegetables, and put them up to survive the winter. I imagine what an enormous undertaking the canning must have been, especially since this house was originally 1/3 its current (not impressive) size. I can't imagine the countless trips up and down the absurdly steep cellar stairs, breakable treasures in tow. Who needs an elliptical machine when you do that all summer?

I was thrilled when the ghostly circles revealed themselves, and felt like I'd both time-travelled briefly and solved a mystery. My mom, an old-fashioned farm girl, walked down into the cellar and didn't hesitate for an instant: "Oh, canning shelves!"

What details has your house revealed to you about its previous functions and/or inhabitants? Are there features that still leave you scratching your head? Share your solved and unsolved mysteries!

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