My youngest's former bedroom has become the "box-room" of my condo. This word popped into my head with a memory of an upper story or attic room painted pale green and full of trunks, crates, and boxes. The memory is old, but not nearly so old as that house. Where was this place of storage? Why can't I find better explanations of boxrooms or box rooms or box-rooms online?
A docent in period costume explained that the family stored winter items in the box-room for the summer, and summer items for the winter. I store Christmas tree ornaments in Rubbermaid tubs above the laundry room cupboards year-round.
Traditionally, and often seen in country houses and larger suburban houses up until the 1930s in Britain, the box room was literally for the storage of boxes, trunks, portmanteaux, and the like, rather than for bedroom use.
Wandering a maze of remembered tours of historic homes, I'm wondering which had the box-room docent. Bugging me for over a week, I begin to think I just read a story of a box-room, maybe with a murder...
At work, the library director tapped me to assist her in retrieving the very tall ladder from the Town Hall basement. We took the key to "the cage" when we went down, but the cage was already open.
The Town Hall was constructed in the 1920's in a Spanish Colonial Revival style. The building spans a creek. It is a splendid setting for a mystery, but we saw no corpse. Maneuvering the very tall ladder into the elevator was more Keystone Kops than scary classic page-turner.
Pulling a list of historic homes I've toured out of my mental portmanteau:
New Orleans seems like a good place for a box-room docent. My visit to that city in the very late '80s had lots of visits to historic homes:
- Beauregard-Keyes house
- Pontalba buildings on Jackson Square
- Hermann-Grima and Gallier homes
- Fairview, the home of perennial presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, best known by Lincoln schoolchildren as the home of the bizarre elephant leg umbrella stand.
- Arbor Lodge, tNebraska City home of J. Sterling Morton
- Kennard House
- Ferguson House, the Second Renaissance Revival style house of William Henry Ferguson, Lincoln businessman and investor, built this house in 1909-11.
- General Crook House in Omaha
- McGuffey House on the Miami University campus. Yes, those McGuffey Readers.
- Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson
- Callahan House, Longmont, CO, site of the famous Ruder/Foley wedding in 2009
- Heritage Farmstead, home of Ammie Wilson, champion sheep breeder in Plano, TX.
© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder