Monday, August 20, 2007

Historical homes and cultures

There's a great article on saving old houses and materials, Greening the Rolling Hills, in the October 2007 issue of Early American Life.  A couple built their Virginia home utilizing three old log cabins; they also recycled old chimney bricks from burned-out log cabins, old windows, doors, wooden panels, a staircase from a burned-out house, patio cobblestones from a factory parking lot, granite steps, etc.  They used the bricks for the kitchen and sunroom floors; a fireplace lintel is an old curbstone from south Boston.  It's a fascinating story with lovely photos.
I also enjoyed the articles on heirloom seeds and the beautiful old home a couple discovered while house hunting, but possibly the most interesting article was on the old community of Sonnenberg in Ohio, settled by Swiss Mennonites.  Their artifacts and homes are similar to the Pennsylvania Deutsch (Germans), but intriguingly different, as was their culture and religion; even their furniture and wooden shoes are different.  The historical background is very interesting.

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