Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mark's House, Part III

Today we continue our discussion about the house at Mathews Court House which dates to the 1700s. Mathews Mark is the property's caretaker, and as I mentioned yesterday he recently gave me a tour.

The tree above is one of the first you see as you approach the house, and it's enormous. This picture doesn't do it justice. I can only imagine what it looks like dressed in its greenery. There are several other stately trees in the yard, but this one has the most personality. Trees can have personalities you know.

Above is a window in the second-story servants' quarters, which is supposedly where the resident ghost engages in her high jinks.

High jinks, or hijinks, sounds like a combination of hygiene and tiddly winks, but it popped into my brain whle contemplating a word to describe the mysterious resident and her antics. However, since I've been known to confuse cormorants with pomegranates, I decided to check the dictionary to be sure this word exists; of course you all know that it does. High jinks means boisterous or rambunctious carrying-on or unrestrained fun. High jinks may be the theme for Blog Fest 2010 and is now my new favorite word.

This side note of ridiculosity is brought to you by my self-diagnosed attention deficit/rambling disorder. We now return to the original topic which may not have presented itself yet due to the interruptions.

As Mark took us upstairs and into the servants' quarters, he explained that Ms. Hijinx makes noises, slams doors, and most recently was upset by a picture Mark brought with him when he moved in.

Pardon the very poor quality of the next photo, but I wasn't using a flash and the picture is important to the story.

This is an ancient Vortex woodstove in the kitchen of the house, directly under the servants' quarters. If you look carefully, there on the floor next to it is a picture of an Ernest Hemmingway-looking fellow. Mark hung this sizable picture on the wall to the right of the woodstove.

One morning, he came down to the kitchen and noticed the picture had been removed from the wall and placed upright--but sideways--on the counter next to the sink. In other words, the portrait was turned to the right horizontally so the man was looking up at the ceiling--the servants' quarters are overhead.

There is no way it could have fallen and bounced to this particular place (never mind that pictures don't usually bounce), and nobody else moved it. The picture was so oddly placed that he struggled to recreate its exact placement and never did get it to stand the way he found it that morning.

Hopefully soon we'll have more information on this lovely home's history and its former inhabitants, but for now it's nice to know there's a place I can legally trespass stop by now and then to take pictures.

Thanks, Mathews Mark!

p.s. Mathews Mark now has an e-mail account. You can reach him at mtodd0129@gmail.com. If you have questions about the house, about Mathews or about Mark, send him a note.

p.s.s.t. Does anyone know anything about this old Vortex wood stove? The only Vortex stoves I found on a google search were modern ones. This thing is old--and gorgeous.


Mathews Mark said...

My son came down stairs monday morning (well closer to afternoon been on the prowl all night, teenagers cant tell them anything cant kill them whats a father to do just kidding folks he's a great kid) ok back to monday he said someone was walking up and down the hall all night. He thought it was me but I stayed down in the main room by the wood stove (not the one in the picture) to keep it going this h ouse is very drafty. Shane said he yelled at what he thought was me to stop,the door then shut and the noise was gone. When Shane goes back to Va. Tech I am going to camp out upstairs to see what is really going on. So if you don't hear from me you know I have been taken to the other side WOW that would be something, can't wait. I guess I better get my son through college before I let (HER) take me there! Please excuse my text skills (I went to Mathews high school and majored in Cars Girls and sports ,may not have been in that order LOL,)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Maybe this explains why the property owner doesn't spend much time there!

Mathews Mark, keep us posted, but I'd stick to sleeping by the woodstove if I were you.

Ann Marie said...

MM ... I think we should have a slumber party!!!!

Bayman said...

Mark, I have wanted many times to move, and not tell anyone where I was going. You can't do that either. All you can do is love em' and claim the little darlings on your taxes as long as possible.

tj said...

...Oh CBW, I think the word "High Jinks" could very well be the theme of this blog! lol... ;o)

...I LOVE historic homes and trees and ghost stories! Great stuff Mathews Mark and CBW!

...Blessings... :o)

Mental P Mama said...

Slumber Party at MM's house for Blogfest 2010!

Jamie said...

1. I hope I can make it to Blogfest this year and 2. I am itching to do a paranormal investigation at Mark's place!

Trisha said...

The story of this house just keeps getting better. I can't wait for the next installment!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Oooh, this is good. MORE GHOST STORIES PLEASE!!

My grandparents had a chihuahua named Jinx.

WV = Antze. I'm gettin' antze for Blogfest 2010!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I'm all for the slumber party at MM's. We can just hijinks it on over there and have one heck of a hootenanny!

Daryl said...

Oh I am with Re, we need a Blister slumber party there during the HighJinx of BlogFest

Karen Deborah said...

This is a great story and the stove is fabulous. I think you should spend the night in that house and then write about it!!! whoooooohooooooo

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Why don't we just pull the campers over there and park 'em under that old elm tree? Think about it!

Big Hair Envy said...

Would it be inappropriate for me to sidle (where did THAT come from?) my air mattress up beside that old wood stove? It's FREAKIN' freezin' outside, and I'm feeling a bonding session about to happen...;) Of course, THEN, I'll be way ahead of the game for the slumber party!!!

Nice ghosty, ghosty....

Jason said...

You have a great site here. I have a travel blog myself which I hope to be a top resource for information on vacation destinations.

I'd like to exchange links with you. Please let me know if this is possible.


Grandma J said...

So a slumber party it is! I can't wait to tour Mark's home, and meet the "mrs".