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
Thanks, Mathews Mark!
p.s. Mathews Mark now has an e-mail account. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.