Oronoque Saltbox Historic Home Survey
The kitchen undoubtedly had been the epicenter of the fire that ravaged the Oronoque saltbox some decades ago, as all the timbers of the first floor lean-to were damaged or severely singed. Yet the home survived, and continued to stand, otherwise unaffected, until its demolition (K6).
Despite the damage, this framing revealed much. The timbers of the original lean-to area, including the rear plate, heavy chimney girt extensions, end girts, irregular joists (further evidence of early plaster work), and tapered rear posts, were nearly all still in place, and serving their modified roles in the extended house (K2, K5).
Furthermore, the additional timber framing defining the extended lean-to area (coinciding with the raised and extended rear roof), and its spliced connections to the original work, likewise was fully visible (K3).
Of particular note was the stone fireplace, which undoubtedly had been much larger back in its day (K1). But as was often common practice in the more recent past, the fireplace had been reduced through the construction of a brick firebox. Modern paneling, and a mantel shelf, also dressed its opening. I have no idea whether the stones above the mantel were real, or a veneer, as I’d never bothered investigating them. But the smaller stones covering the brickwork of the firebox sides were clearly an adhered, decorative product.