Tucked in the corner off of the back porch is a section of the house that was once the living quarters for the servants. This area included a bedroom (14X9) and a small bathroom. Both rooms can be accessed from the back porch and the back door. The basement is also accessed from the porch.
This porch area has a small pantry closet and the remnants of a built-in ironing board. The ironing board cabinet is not usable, but we have kept it because of its character.
This entire area is separated from the rest of the house by a door leading into the kitchen. It is peculiar that this is the location of the present day refrigerator as it is completely separate from the kitchen. However, when one realizes that this is where the old-fashioned ice box would have been located, it makes a bit more sense. This location was strategic – it allowed the ice man to deliver the ice without disturbing the family. He would have been able to come in through the back door and fill the box with ice without ever entering the main quarters of the house. The original “ice” box is long gone, but when we moved in, there was an old- fashioned electric ice box in the basement. Stay tuned for more on that.
As I have been researching the families who have lived in this grand house, I have come across a variety of census documents listing the names, ages, of heads of household and family members. Included in the list is the same information for each servant living with a family. I have found it interesting that most of the families affiliated with this house had one or two servants. These were mainly young women in their late teens or mid-twenties from Denmark or California. According to Virginia Eaton (who lived here as a teenager in 1936-1940 – you met her in a previous post), her mother also employed two servants (maids) while living here; however, after World War II started, it was harder to keep the help.