Just yesterday we did a whole bunch of head scratching in the Frederick Rapp House. The room that was until recently interpreted as Frederick Rapp’s dining room, and what will be interpreted as his kitchen, brought forth a mystery. This room is in the south western corner of the Frederick Rapp House, overlooking the beautiful (but at the moment snow-covered) garden.
Before restoration began, we found out that the east wall of the room, which borders the hallway, was thicker than the same wall in the next room (the utility closet/pantry). It was about two times the thickness. We determined at the time that it was a brick wall, and that it was probably thicker to protect the rest of the house from the heat of the kitchen. We found out yesterday that it was indeed a brick wall, but we found out more. The plaster had become unattached in many places, and will be repaired in this restoration. See the following pictures to look at what we found.
So what is it? Another thing that we found that is not very easy to see in photographs is that at some point the wall was thickened. It is entirely brick on the hallway side, but it is brick only on the lower part of the room side of the wall. The rest is constructed with posts and lath.
Evidence found today in the second floor and the attic may tell us that there was indeed a fireplace on that wall at some point. The 180+ year old Rapp Houses are full of mysteries!
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