Old House Holiday Thoughts Part II

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Construction, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History

I was mentioning some thoughts on holiday safety in old houses in my last post, and an article came to my attention shortly after I had finished my post. While the safety issue doesn’t concern just old houses, but rather houses of any age, it needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. There has just been a massive safety recall of roman type window shades. This recall is the result of a mother’s crusade, after the death of her infant daughter.

Being a father, I always find these types of stories incredibly sad, but at the same time I always have great admiration for the parent or parents involved. Even though they have gone through a terrible tragedy, they have worked tirelessly to ensure that other children and parents don’t have the same tragedy occur in their family. The infant girl died in her sleep when the cord from a roman blind became wrapped around her neck. Her twin brother was asleep near her, and never awakened while it was happening. It happened in 2002, and similar deaths have happened in other families, both prior to this tragedy and after. The mother has campaigned since 2002 for the recall, and it has finally happened. If you or anyone you know has these type of blinds in their home, now is the time to take action, especially if there are young children living in the house.

On the subject of old houses, I came upon two articles that show the opposite ends of the historic home spectrum. The first concerns an old house in Tennessee that was constructed in 1797, by the founder of the town where it is located. Once again an old historic house found itself standing in the way of progress, and its future was uncertain until a couple stepped in and purchased it. They have moved the old house, and have plans to restore it. Part of the original structure was a cabin, and the plans are to expose the logs once again.

Now for an old historic house that is begging to be saved, and the owners don’t seem to want to, or perhaps don’t have the means to. This is a beautiful old house in Newport, Rhode Island, which was built in 1750. It has been allowed to fall into disrepair, and as of the time this article was written in October, was about to be condemned. Once it is condemned, it is subject to being demolished if deemed to be a hazard. If the interior of the house is anything like the exterior entryway, it must have been magnificent during its day, and could be again if someone would take some action. I would love to see what the trim work inside the house looks like. Hopefully this old house was spared.