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  • Josephine Moore

Unraveled History in the Basement

Basements. Basements have never been my cup of tea. They are dark, damp, and contain an assortment of creepy unknown. On Sunday, March 26th Jeff Dowdy, the great great grandson of Captain Sawyer, and his wife Jen came over to the bed and breakfast. This visit was merely to discuss our endeavor and any needs we may have as far as antiques and unique pieces that would bring a better sense of the time period of this former sea captain's home.

What happened next was not necessarily on the agenda. Jeff inquired as to whether or not the old brass embellished steps that led to the basement were still there. We replied, "yes, they sure are!" and down to the chilly basement we went. These steps, we learned, were formerly installed on an old steam ship. There was originally a matching brass handrail but that seems to have been lost throughout the years, however the plates and kickers were still there and in need of a polish.

As we ventured further into the cobwebbed darkness, we slushed through muddy puddles, and crouched below the floorboards overhead. That is when Jeff made his first discovery! Out of the blackened abyss, as if led by ghosts of the past, he emerged with an old sled. This sled instantly sent you through a spiraling time warp of snowed out school days and young children racing down the hills whilst being cheered-on by their friends. Jeff believes the rails must have been made by a blacksmith and what an incredible find this truly is.

Back into the darkness he goes, into an area that was a cistern, and later became our treasure trove. This time, Jeff surfaced with an incredible rocking chair that was in great condition and fitted with a leather seat. His next item was another chair only this one was white wicker with curved arm rests. At this point, everyone in the basement was fuddling around in the dark and mummified with cobwebs, completely ignoring the fact that actual spiders at one point had made them. As we ventured into the cistern area we realized this must have been a child's play area. There were candles, matches and a very cool table with puddles of old candle wax. There was even a makeshift doll's bed.

By the time we had materialized from the basement, we were cloaked in a veil of webs and even a spider! We truly felt as though we had ventured through time and felt honored to do so with one of the original owner's descendants!

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