Hunting the House and other Stories

in Silver Bloggers2 months ago


Captain John Smith, who left Jamestown, Virginia in 1608 to explore the Chesapeake Bay, gave the Eastern Shore its name. There are many places such as Ocean City that bring to mind the beach-going crowd and then, there is a good part of it that is stuck in time, refusing to grow up. It is this part of the island that I like. I can run on the fast track, work like a demon and live comfortably in the rat race. Or, every now and then, I can go back here. Where life is counted in moments.

Jamestown, Virginia was the first successful permanent English settlement in what would become the United States. It endured where Roanoke Island, located off the coast of North Carolina failed.


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The first time I walked into the backyard of the Shore House, a house I own on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, I was totally shocked to be uncovering graves, some with stones that had writing that could not be deciphered. I should have been used to it, there are many family graveyards and Civil War Cemeteries in Virginia. Although, admittedly, they have wrought iron fencing around them. Sometimes a fence is made from logs, but, that is rare. Here was the first one I uncovered.


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The house was built in 1869. Some of her features are original, some are reproduced although most of them have managed to hang on to their history. The original glass windows are mostly in with a few replaced. The original glass is what is called wavy glass, mouth-blown glass that is typical for this area. It was called this also because it has tiny bubbles in the glass. are still in the six over six windows that hang in the frame.


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The shutters to the house were taken off so that the house could be painted without worrying that drips would get on them. They are black and the contrast which is a common one looks nice on it. They are already painted and waiting their turn to get hung back up. The bush is a hydrangea, with three colors on the blooms. There is nothing fancy with this house, but, everything about it feels peaceful and right. There is a victory garden, which makes my extended family laugh, My neighbors, give me advice on the how and why of growing certain things. Do you have a garden and if you do, why? For me, it allowed me to be self-sufficient and I now know that I can do it.


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You can see the backside of the fence before it had gotten painted this year. I have a small fence separating the woods, although there is a gate so I don't have to climb the fence. Trust me, it is not pretty! Funny, maybe... There is a Civil War Era cemetery back there, and I am just in the process of having the stones looked at and straightened. I have been looking up the people and any history they have on them. It is fascinating. My house and my neighbors were father and daughter. Mine was the daughters. The father's house was used as a hospital in the war and mine was used as an annex and eventually a hospital. There are all sorts of fun things about the house. It has secret rooms. You don't even know they are there. It has a door shoulder level and you open it up (it is in what is now the laundry room) Open the door and there are benches built in and a huge room. It has been rumored that it was part of the underground railroad. The way things are built, I believe it. Cool, right?


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Dr. Kellum. 1814-1896 He worked as a doctor during the Civil War - Dates: Apr 12, 1861 – Apr 9, 1865. What did he do? Where did he work? In this house? Did he live in this house or next door? Did he take part and sympathize with the underground railroad? So much we have uncovered and so much more to hunt down. It is like a treasure hunt when we find little things buried or even go through some of the things we found in the old barn or dairy keeping.


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After blowing this up, I could make out the name Catharine, and I think this is the way it was spelled. I am guessing by the images on the stone, she was a child. There were four children's graves. That made me sad, that many children were in such a small place. All these graves here, on the way back of the property. The trees hang lazily and the breeze is gently blowing the heat away. Were they mothers of these children? Are there any soldiers? Have I found all the graves?

What was it like to live in this little town all those years ago? I actually believe it was busier in those terms. I look around and try to imagine that if those walls inside could talk, what would they tell me? I want to thank you for coming along as I take inventory of what I still need to do on the house. Little by little, it will get done. And just like that, this post is done. Come back tomorrow and we will do it again! Flowers. Always. To color my world. #alwaysaflower.


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All I have are my words, armed in my mind, written in pen, stand by stand. Oh, yes. Still by hand. It has a different feel. Altered not by keys, backspace, and delete, I write, erase, tear it to pieces and start all over again. And again.

It’s my way. I walk out to the deep end of the page and dive right in.

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The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost



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What a gorgeous house! I think I would leave the rat race and just enjoy the slower pace. But then again, I prefer slow best.

It would be interesting to metal detect those grounds. Perhaps there is not much, but I bet there is at least some history buried in the soil just waiting to be found.

 2 months ago  

Thank you! Slow is nice, but a little adrenaline works too. A mix of both is perfect.

We have metal detected a little bit. Old coins, handmade nails, little things. But, its always cool! The area is steeped in History, but, you will be too .

Thanks for stopping by!

Surprise! You brought us closer to your home. Impressive. Thank you!

I had no idea that the house could be so old with so much history in it. I'm trying to imagine how you researched the house, how you tried to discover and understand it. Such an old cemetery by your fence. I think it's a very good idea to take care of it, the old monuments. Denise, you have a house like out of the movies!

I wonder what else you'll tell..., I wonder if you've met a nice ghost?

 2 months ago  

Hi, Dan! I upvoted and meant to come back and didn't! This is the Shore House and yes, there are many old houses over there, it is like stepping back in time.

There are some records of events, some people have written accounts of the Civil War when it went through the area when the train tracks were laid and even some of the peoples' names and who they were related to.

There is a genealogy chapter there in the next town, for the area. People have kept some records, some are guessing, and most are facts.

The cemetery is on my property, but I have a small area fenced in and the opposite side was kind of messy I leave the fence up until the graves are professionally reset. This all takes time and the Historical Society etc.

I do love this house! It definitely has sounds in the night, but, old houses do. :) I haven't seen a ghost yet, I have to assume those footsteps are the cat! :)

Hi, Dan! @bluemoon

It's a place full of history for sure! I'm glad this is your home because you know how to appreciate it in every way. From comfort, history, and architecture. The cemetery is on your property! I suspected but I wasn't sure. Don't the people buried there have descendants to tend the graves?
It's a great initiative that you want to rehabilitate this small cemetery, it will bring value to the property but can also be a place to visit.

Unexpectedly, I hear a lot of noises at night also... but still no ghosts.
Have a great weekend, Denise!

That is so interesting.... .just as long as a haint doesn't come to the door and ask for a drink of water in the middle of the night. ha ha

I always wished I had a whole back yard that was a garden, not veggies, but a few here or there would be fine, more like the secret garden. I've never had anything close except in my dreams.

That looks like a fine place to relax, if you weren't working so much every time you went.

 2 months ago (edited) 

Hello, no!!! @jacey.boldart There better be nobody coming to the door asking for a drink in the middle of the night!! Okay, but only if they are really thirsty!

Hey!! I ain't afraid of no ghosts!

The Secret Garden! Before I let my brother live here, the small fenced-in area that was right outside of the sunporch was a garden, mostly flowers from the woman who lived here before. She was a gardener, although I am not sure what level of experience it was. Certainly way over my head. She even grew kiwi vines! I chopped down most of them before I knew what they were, but, they were crawling out of control! My bad! She had some estate lilies that I dug up and divided (only because they wouldn't come out, it was a hostile takeover on my part!) Kidding. Now both houses have them. There are these pink flowers that bloom all summer and throw off seeds before I can save some and they come up all over the place. Want some? I'll send you a picture! You will like them and you can plant them anywhere. Violets are in this garden too. It was beautiful and I loved putting flowers everywhere.

My sister-in-law didn't like flowers. She let so many die. :( So, I am beginning again, but, someday, it will be like it was. It is the perfect place for a garden but, it needs bushes around it! It just has a few Crepe Myrtles

It is a wonderful place to relax, I like going to see the ponies and kayaking or even visiting the u-picks. I like doing a small project and reading about the history of the area. I never work too much. It would defeat the purpose of having the house. Oh, have I changed how I feel about working too hard! The house is too tall so I have hired someone to paint it, I did the porches and shutters in the fall.

The cemetery was pretty cool when I found it. The secret rooms were amazing to discover!

BoooOOOoooOooooooo... I'm thirstyyyyyyyyYYYyYyyYYyYYyyyyyyy

ha ha

That poor woman's garden ! It's a wonder she didn't come back to haunt ya'll..... or did she??

I'm sure one day you will have it back in fine shape. That's the wonderful thing about gardens, is that you can always plant more.

I'm glad you don't think work is "all that" anymore and what would be not to like about secret rooms? Every good mystery... or haunted house as one... or three.

 2 months ago (edited) 

Haha!! I hope to get it back to where I had it, once upon a time. It is coming along.

I guess you are right! Mystery always surrounds the secret room! Boooooo!

I love houses with secret room. This house I am in has one. It is part of a large utility room (laundry and ironing room). I had a false wall that doubles as a door. I keep secrets there, hahaha!
Interesting!!! It is a good place for you to find peace! I know how important that is.
How often do you stay there?
!LADY 😍🌺🤙

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 2 months ago  

Thanks for thectip!

 2 months ago  

I love secret rooms! How cool you have one. I think all the secrets have found their way iut of mine!

It is truly a peaceful place...the Shore House. Hello, @silversaver888

What great history there. I can almost feel it all the way up here. And the hidden room? Who doesn't love a hidden room? Would love to get the metal detector out and around the place and see what turns up. I've got some of that to do up here as well this year.

 2 months ago (edited) 

It's true! We have found all sorts of cool little treasures, including coins, homemade nails, and the like. Aren't metal detectors fun? I used to go with my dad on the beaches in Connecticut and Long Island.

But old houses and estates are the best. The hidden rooms are still something that really tickles my fancy. They just don't build them like they used to!

I will bet you have some cool things up there!! Hi, Kris! @ksteem Hope your day is going great!

I would love to find some stuff like that. So far just some coins, and most interesting just a few wheat pennies... other just nails, pulltops, etc. but haven't had it out up here yet. Guess I better get busy before the ground freezes! Sounds like a good fall project once the bugs are frozen off!

 2 months ago  

You probably will! Thats always exciting! Need to take it out to the chicken coop sans chickens.

Getting close to winter for you!!

Wow ... your home sounds beautiful. Do you have a room for me? LOL.

Question on the title though ... what does 'hunting' the house mean?

 2 months ago (edited) 

Thank you! You do know that this is the alternate house, right? The Shore House, where all the peaceful moments are spent. :) Bought a few years back and have been renovating it, little by little. Trying to preserve all that I can and find pieces that are now missing.

It is a fun project! It has six bedrooms! Room galore!!

Question on the title though ... what does 'hunting' the house mean?

I was hunting the history of it, not sure how I got that title but it was late when I scheduled it and this is what was there this morning!

Le sigh.

It is sort of like drunk posting, except not drunk. :) Good morning, Pryde! @prydefoltz ❤️ Who loves ya, baby?

LOL ... I changed my title made yesterday too. I just wondered if you meant 'haunting' with the grave stones but it does make sense now ... if you hunt ... do you hunt? And not just for men. LOL

 2 months ago  

Now that would have been better! Haunting could have been spun into a fun title.

I am not a hunter at all. :))

 2 months ago  

What a wonderful time capsule full of mystery and intrigue. I imagine you will have many years of fun discoveries ahead.

 2 months ago  

Hi, Wanda! @sunscape Bought this house a few years back and am renovating it little by little. It is the Shore House and not the one in Washington, DC metro area. It was bought for a place to relax on the shore, pretty close to where the Chincoteague Island (and the ponies!) is located.

You are truly right though. I love finding little touches of yesterday here. I hope all is well with you! Thank for stopping by!

 2 months ago  

I can see why you love the place and it is perfect for relaxing and who doesn't love seeing the ponies every year. The best life ever!

 2 months ago  

Wow… amazing Denise 😎🥰 my kind of house…
So much history and still so much to discover. Thanks for sharing this with us.
It is special, and I can imagine wandering around inside and outside.
Soon… I hope we have something like this. A house with loads of character that tells many tales. 😎😊
And a garden… with veggies, fruits and herbs. Yep all of it.

Soooo cool to have hidden rooms. Amazing. 🤩
Have a wonderful Thursday 👋🏻😊

 2 months ago  

This was purchased a few years back for a nice place to get away from the city. It is fun to take my time in renovating, getting all the details right or at least uncover the finer details of what went into building it.

I love the character in these houses. It is an old Rustic Victorian and I am still looking into the history.

And I have a garden lots of flower gardens and fruit trees, and berry bushes! Yay me. There is a chicken house, but, I am not here all the time, so not right now. :)

Thursday! Have a great one!

 2 months ago  

It just sounds lovely Denise 😊
We are looking for an old Victorian that needs TLC 😎 once we get over there.

Yes, the chickens have to wait… who knows one day.
I can imagine it is lovely to go there to get away from the city. 🥰

Thank you kindly, you too 👋🏻☀️ Enjoy it 🤗

 2 months ago  

Most of them do, but most are also worth redoing if you have the vision (which you do) and the time! (which you do)

You deserve to find one that you love! So many are right in town too. In actuality, the ones in town have small lots usually, but, the houses are taken better care of as they are showpieces.

I know you will find what you want! As long as you don't mind waiting (which I already know you don't!) you will get it!

Wow, that is so interesting. What a cool house and piece of property! The only thing interesting in my back yard right now is a bees nest that I stumbled upon when I was clearing some brush the other day. Not fun! :)

 2 months ago  

Yikes!!! You win!!

That smarts! Yellow jackets or honeybees? Or wasps? If they were honeybees, a beekeeper would be happy to come and relieve you of them.

The others, not so much. I have a new one being built in one of my birdhouses. I need to disrupt the build before the wasps get serious!

Thanks for stopping by!

Yellow Jackets. Yeah, if it were honey bees I would have left them alone or called my buddy up. He has a bunch of hives all over the state with different friends and family members.

 2 months ago  

I think I dislike hornets/wasps worse, but, yellowjackets can be pretty aggressive!

We all have friends with hives now, it seems. The bees need good friends!

That is awesome!

A house is a museum that stores all the memories of its inhabitants, from generation to generation. Every corner of the house holds its own memories. If the house is changed or even a corner of the house is changed, then the memories will also change and even become lost.

In my place, it's very rare to find an old house, but you say the house was built 153 years ago and is still well maintained and every repair keeps its original shape. I think you have not only taken care of the house, but you have preserved all the memories.
Have a nice day

 2 months ago  

Isn't that our job, to preserve history and memories? It is a wonderful area and many old houses have persevered over time. Changing it has never occurred to me. It was bought to put back where it once belonged and to give me a place to sit back and relax, enjoying the tranquility of the moment.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your voice.

Woah! I'd definitely love to live in such an environment where everyday would be like going on different adventures, uncovering different mysterious and being more like an undercover agent. Haha! It's really beautiful, I love houses with secret rooms, goodness gracious, I hope you find more interesting things because this house journey is getting sweeter with you sharing it. The place is definitely cool to me. I'm already feeling the impact of all you discovered from my end. Greetings!

 2 months ago  

Greetings from here! Bought this house a few years back, so I have had it for a while. It is a second home, so renovating is slower and little at a time. :)

It is still very interesting and I am enjoying the journey along the way. Thank you for your words.

It is still very interesting and I am enjoying the journey along the way

Honestly I'm enjoying this journey with you☺️. It was nice reading through and getting to see some historical things.

 2 months ago  

@dswigle I have to say, I enjoyed visiting your beautiful house, it seems a surreal environment, as if time has stopped in it. Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos.

 2 months ago  

Thank you for stopping by! I am glad you enjoyed it!

 2 months ago  

😊

never a dull day for you i can see

least your making the most of the lovely weather :)

 2 months ago  

That is true. The weather is lovely and the days are full. I hope you are having a great day yourself.

Wow! That is all so cool. Graveyards, headstones, secret rooms, Underground Railroad! Growing up and living on the west coast… we don’t have all of these historical buildings and snipets of know history to stumble upon everyday. My house is a few years shy of 100 and that is ancient in our area.

 2 months ago  

That is old!! Thats true about the west coast. Im from Connecticut, anf thars different.

I love the historical aspect of it!!

So hlad you stopped by!!!

Keep our home safe.🛡🤝🌎🌍🌏

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 2 months ago  

Thank you for the repost! Much appreciated!

!PIZZA

The house is so lovely, I love the white color. If I would have the chance to own such historical house financially, I would love to decorate it. I won't mind doing the painting myself as I love any DIY project. When I was a kid of about 5, My dad had a construction project in the hills of Rizal, Philippines. My mother and I always passed this cemetery to and from my dad's project location.. I was always frightened to see the tombs and crosses that I covered my face with my hands until we passed-by the cemetery. How silly was I, maybe I got freightened because of horror movies seen on TV...lol.

With all those plenty of spaces, I can imagine that your family enjoys it. You are blessed! Thanks for sharing the history of it. Sending Hugs from Vienna!

Wow I would never be able to stop reseaching until I found all of the answers- and the decendants too!

At any time during any renovations have you ever found old newspapers/letters in the walls or under the floorboards or other paraphernalia like that- especially since it was a hospital. No graveyard for empty medicinal bottles?

And funny I bumped into this story on YT a few weeks ago that might interest you too...

And what about the ghosts????

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Thank you for taking us to your house. That's beautiful although the story is tragical and made me emotional at the same time because I am a mother too! I have watch history of civil war and all I can say is that nothing more painful to that. I don't understand why this had to happen, had completely lost their love for humanity.
Talking about garden makes my eyes twinkled! I love garden. Planting herbs, flowers, veggies and few fruit trees. This is part of my life like a theraphy, tilling and cultivating them helps me develop to love more and even kinder. So fulfilling Seeing them grow and bloomed.
I for sure would want to know the continuing story of that interesting house of yours. Thank you for sharing. I had teary eyed morning, just emotional.