Clean Up: both basements, progress and things we find!

So while my wonderful daughters were making brownies, I headed to the basements to continue with some organizing and cleaning.

In the process, I found some very cool things!

The first thing I found was among a pile of glass jars I sorted through.

It is a very old metal cookie press! It looks like it has icing tips, too.

My mother never had time to make fancy stuff, so I have no memory of any gadgets like this, no idea where this came from, nor how long it’s been around. I also don’t know why it would be in the basement, but that’s true of a lot of things.

Like this treasure.

I discovered this buried behind a whole bunch of other things.

I didn’t take a look, but it likely attaches to a pipe from below. My guess is that it is a kitchen water pump that would have drawn water from a cistern beneath it. I know a building my parents bought, intending it to be an investment property (that didn’t pan out…) had a cistern in the basement that collected rainwater, and they had a hand pump in the kitchen. By the time I remember any of that, the cistern, which was basically a bricked off room in the basement, had a doorway cut into it, and was where the well and pressure pumps were installed, after my parents had a well dug and running water installed. For all I know, this pump is from that building! if it is, it probably dates from around the 40’s or 50’s. If it isn’t… then I have no clue!

It is now added to the collection of things to restore. πŸ™‚

Other things were not found, so much as gained access to.

One of the few major tools that did not disappear over the years; a drill press! My older brother tells me it works, as he’d had to use it. It wasn’t quite the right tool for the job, but the right tool for the job had disappeared, so he made do with this.

I look forward to testing it out!

Once I’d cleared away another section filled with glass jars, I could reach this.

I remember this lamp from when I was a kid! I think one of my brothers make it. The chain for the light was attached to the pump handle in such a way that pumping the handle would turn the lamp on and off.

I don’t remember the Jesus sticker. πŸ˜€

It probably still works. I’m not sure I want to test it out, though!

And finally, the results at the end of the day.

All of the glass canning jars that I found ended up here – and they take up a lot less space, when properly put away in shelves! There were quite a few of those glass lids for the canning jars that got added to the box with the first batch I’d uncovered. The really large glass jars look like the big pickle jars I get at Costco every now and then. They are being kept for future use as bottle bricks in cordwood practice buildings. There are even a couple of old milk bottles in there! That shopping cart was more than half full of glass jars, some of which went into the bin for recycling. There was a broken jar, as well as a couple of broken glass canning jar lids at the bottom. 😦

I am not at all comfortable with all that glass in the short shelf, which is not as stable as the tall one. That’s why the shopping cart (why is there a shopping cart in the basement???) and old chair are now in front of it. Once we pick up some utility shelves, we’ll not only have more stable shelves, but will have more storage space. There are many more canning jars in the old kitchen that will be brought down here, later in the year.

As far as I can tell, the canning jars are all in good shape. Just filthy. Some of them had the metal rings, but those were very rusted and badly damaged. I kept only a couple. This is unfortunate, as the metal bands are deeper than modern ones, and I don’t know that they’re made anymore. From what I have found, the rubber seals are still available, in limited quantities.

I didn’t take a before picture, so you’ll have to take my word that this is an improvement! πŸ˜€ The bottom of the stairs has a lot of recycling and a couple more bags of garbage that needs to get hauled out. The doorway to the root cellar, which is on the right, not far from the stairs, was partly blocked before, partly with extra chairs from upstairs that we didn’t need to have around all the time. Our Christmas decorations are now all in one spot. πŸ˜€

(Oh, and we checked the gauges in the root cellar; the temperature had dropped to -2C, while the humidity went up to 50% – way too cold and dry for a potential cheese cave!)

That’s the original door from our van, still sitting here from when my darling brother cobbled it together with one he’d found from a auto parts yard. The hose is what we used to clear the pipe to the septic tank.

The U-Haul box with the bin on top of it is sitting where a storage bin lid full of canning jars – and the cookie press – used to be. The box and bin have packing materials in them, so they’re nice and light. We still have a lot of boxes and packing material from the move down here. We’ve been slowly using them, so they’ve been worth hanging on to.

I’ll have to figure out what to do with the collection of car batteries. They likely will all go to the landfill, which has an area for stuff like this to be sent for proper disposal. I’m hoping my brother knows more about them.

We can almost access the shelves and counters now!

Once the stuff that needs to be hauled out gets cleared from the bottom of the steps, I’ll have room for the stuff in the old basement that needs to be dismantled. It’s safer to haul things up the new basement steps than the old basement steps. Not by much, mind you, but enough.

My ultimate goal, which will take many months of work, I’m sure, will be to not only get the basements to a state of use-ability, but safe enough that if any cats managed to get down here, they won’t be at risk of injury.

At some point, I’m going to have to go through things with my older brother, since he’ll know if they are still working, salvageable, or even what they are.

This is definitely a long term clean up job!

The Re-Farmer

addendum: I’ve been doing some searches on that hand pump. I’ve found a couple of almost identical ones for sale in auction sites, listed as cast iron with a brass cylinder. What they don’t give is actual information about how old they are, etc., and just use vague words like “vintage”. I did find a catalog from the company that suggests this pump might date from the early 1900’s. Which is just a little bit more useful than “vintage.” LOL

4 thoughts on “Clean Up: both basements, progress and things we find!

  1. Wow, that cookie press has to be as old as I am, or more. πŸ™‚

    Some of those things, particularly the well / water pump probably have some value as antiques. It’d probably be worth poking around online to check when you have time πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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