As I promised last week, here are a few pictures from the next house we’ll be moving to. This is the front of the house, towards the road. The light isn’t the greatest here, because this side faces east and we were there late in the afternoon.
The door to the left goes into a bedroom, which will be our spare bedroom/schoolroom/library. Next is the door opening into the hallway, and then our bedroom. The third bedroom is just down the hallway from our room, on the same side of the house. The schoolroom will be cold in winter, but nicely cool in summer.
This house was the first maternity house in Cheviot. It was purchased for that purpose sometime soon after being built, in the few years just before 1915. A woman named Mary Davidson was the local midwife, although she never had any formal training. She ran the maternity home from when she bought the house, just before 1915, until about 1930. She never lost a mother or baby! At that time, the house only consisted of the three current bedrooms and the living room. The living room was apparently the kitchen, with a coal range where there is now a logburner. The room we’ll use as a schoolroom was apparently the parlor. They would put mothers in there when both bedrooms were occupied (of course, back then, women usually stayed in bed for two weeks, if I understand right). All the water they needed was heated on the coal range, and to have enough they put it in a “copper”—a metal cylinder—in a corner of the wide hallway, camouflaged with a large wicker basket. When a baby was expected, the home was kept in readiness night and day. The story I read said that was not hard during the day, but nighttime was much harder—that was when the store of hot water in the copper came in handy! The hardest thing for mothers was to get to the maternity home, as the only transportation then was horse and buggy, and it’s not exactly smooth terrain here! I found this history quite fascinating.
Esther is planning to make this sleepout into her bedroom. She’s quite excited about making it attractive inside, and having her own space. It was originally a railway hut, and the present owners of the house moved it here.
When we move, we’ll work on getting more pictures of the place. It’s not as beautiful a location as the one we’re in right now, but it will work for us for a couple of years.