Oronoque Saltbox Historic Home Survey
Attics often tell us a great deal about the material history of a very old home. The attic of the Oronoque saltbox revealed that the rear lean-to roof had been raised and extended at some point in the more recent past — most likely, the late nineteenth century. The original roof system was comprised of ten common rafter pairs, without collar ties or purlins. When the rear roof was later raised, sawn 2″ x 9″ planks were inserted to support the elevated roof (photos A7, A8, and A14).
These planks were suspended by 3″ x 3″ straps secured under the common rafter peaks, and also just above the rear plate (A11 and A17). The rear common rafters were then cut away just below their seats on the rear plate, and their remnants discarded, although at least two had been left behind (A13 and A15).
Of significant historic-architectural interest was the elevated rear plate supporting the original rear common rafters. It was situated about 18″ above the attic floor plane, and held in place by tapered rear post tops (A20).
In more recent times, the attic and lean-to garrets were crudely finished with large acoustic panels, and a suspended ceiling was framed just below the main roof peak (A12). An attempt to insulate the attic floor had also been made, by laying fiberglass batts on top of the floor planks, and then covering them with additional paneling.