Odd trench in 1877 basement.

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Tommyiv
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 6:41 am

Odd trench in 1877 basement.

Post by Tommyiv »

Hi all, first post here. About a year ago, my wife and I purchased a Victorian built in 1877 out in NJ. We are in the process of doing major restorations as the previous owners let the home fall into disrepair. Part of our plan of attack in digging out the old cellar floor and pouring a new one. During the excavation I uncovered what I originally thought was a well in the middle of the cellar. After digging it out it seems to be a brick lined trench that extends from the middle of the room to a nearby exterior wall. It's also rather shallow and only goes about 18'' below the floor. I have been googling away trying to figure out what this is. If anyone can help me figure it out I would greatly appreciate it. I have attached some pictures for reference.
Attachments
bottom of trench
bottom of trench
20220122_124405.jpg (287.27 KiB) Viewed 1337 times
Moves towards the boiler and then turns right
Moves towards the boiler and then turns right
20220122_123408.jpg (530.6 KiB) Viewed 1337 times
Central Circle
Central Circle
20220122_123407.jpg (640.69 KiB) Viewed 1337 times

HB
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:24 pm
Location: Reading - PA

Re: Odd trench in 1877 basement.

Post by HB »

Looks like a spring trough. Our house states back to 1791 and had an internal staircase to the basement because they had troughs in the basement allowing a spring to flow through them which they used for keeping food cold.

Or it’s an open drain for when they used to do washing the house, although I’m not sure why I would be open.

The other possibility is that your house was used for some commercial purpose during its existence. You’d have to go back through the historical records to learn more about this history.


Good luck!
HB
The lord hates a coward....

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