Bedroom #2 IV
Just as it did at the time the Roedde family lived in the house, this space served as a bedchamber during the boarding and rooming house period. It should be noted, however, that in the case of the former, the room was specifically the girls’ bedroom. Two to three daughters from the family would shared the space. Upon entering the room during the 1980’s restoration project, workers found that the room was abundant in features that were structurally and decoratively notable. Such findings could be grouped into four categories: the mouldings, the wallpaper and paint, the chimney and fireplace, and the closet.
As they had done for many other rooms in the house, restoration workers recorded down a number of aspects about the mouldings in what was formerly the girls’ bedchamber. Installed with round nails, moulding was found to have been placed on the floor before such a surface was painted. Beyond this, workers examined the picture rail, or picture hanging mouldings in the room. For one, they measured these mouldings to be 95” from the floor. Then, on the east wall in particular, there were three new nails fixing in the picture rail. All of these nails were round; no square nails were found.
It was not only the mouldings, however, that the restorers took general notice of in the room. Most notably, the wallpaper and paint that had been left behind allowed for many interesting findings as well. Firstly, the workers had in fact removed and collected paint chips. Whilst one paint chip was taken from between the windows on the south wall, another one was extracted from underneath the picture hanging moulding on the north wall. More specifically, the paint being discussed constituted the second layer under the moulding; the first layer consisted of wallpaper that was green and printed with white flowers. Close by, on the eastern side of the north wall and the northern side of the east wall, picture rail markings were unearthed underneath possibly original wallpaper. In terms of design, this layer bore a pattern of radiating silver stars, and stretched around the top of the room. What is crucial to note, however, is that whilst such wallpaper was found only above the rail, a different layer of original wallpaper—that is, the one that was green and bore a white floral pattern—was found immediately under it. Lastly, two layers of wallpaper were unravelled above the picture hanging mouldings and inside the chimney on the west wall. Whereas the pattern of the first layer was pink and had white half-moons, that of the second layer was brown and had silver lines and clouds.
After considering the mouldings and wall spreads in the room, one could pay closer attention to two areas in the room in particular: the chimney and fireplace, and the built-in closet. With regards to the dimensions of this area, the chimney measured 58” long, 3 ¾” deep, and 20” across. On the other hand, the fireplace was 56” long and 54 ½” across. Among other observations that were made about this area, workers unveiled traces of a fire on the lathe behind the fireplace. These were 56 ¼” from the west door and 30” from the floor. As for the chimney, the restorers noticed signs of picture hanging mouldings inside it, particularly behind the metal pipe. It was also here that workers found asbestos; the substance lined a front board that ran from the ceiling down to the center of the fireplace. On top of all this, specific fasteners were also remarkable. Whilst one screw had come out of the chimney’s interior and started towards the wall, another screw had been used in the past to hold the front of the chimney to the sides. Moreover, the restorers found that small wooden plugs had been inserted on such sides to let out the wiring which stretched from the ceiling to both sides of the metal pipe.
Beyond its structural features, the chimney and fireplace area was significant in that workers uncovered a number of objects there. For a start, on the south side of the chimney’s interior, there was a calling card inscribed with the name “Mr. Arthur Richard Low.” More articles were found on the exterior of the fireplace. Behind the installation, a portrait by Geo Nesbitt of a middle-aged man lay on the south side of the floor, while a sharp razor blade and two cards from a 52 playing deck were found on the north side.
Aside from the chimney and fireplace, restoration workers also devoted some time to specifically examine the built-in closet on the room’s north wall. There were three sets of dimensions that the restorers recorded. For one, the doorframe measured 23” across and 72” high. As well, the north and south wall bore the same dimensions, with a height of 87”, an overall length of 59” and a depth of 37 ¼”. Among other findings, the restorers noted, for instance, that the boards for the coat hanger and shelves inside the closet were original. This was deduced from markings on the plaster that showed the wood grain. The south and west walls of the closet each bore one of such boards. Several boards ran up and down the north wall, though. As for the shelf boards specifically, the workers noticed that square nails had been utilized to fasten them in the plaster. One last aspect of importance that one could consider pertains to the wallpaper that workers had unearthed. Indeed, the wallpaper above the shelf boards was identical to that which was below them.