This week I read an account of city building inspector Harry Cox discovering a huge stone room under the basement of an 85 year-old Southside Pittsburgh home. The former owners had no idea it was there. In one corner of the basement the inspector found a hole abut two and a half feet in diameter. It led down to a room about 18 feet wide, 20 feet long and 10 to 12 feet high.
The walls were made of sandstone with stone in some places about 36 inches thick. It’s only contents were about 10 inches of mud and water. Somebody took a lot of trouble to put stone in and none of the former owners when contacted, knew about it either.
After the fire in 1995 our whole basement had to be gutted and we noticed that there was a two inch open gap at the ceiling level on the far side of the wall and open space behind it. Ange and his father removed the stone wall, and low and behold there was a small room. The walls were also 3 ft thick and we figure it was once a root cellar. The dead space now joined part of the house as an official room. It became a wine cellar – but it has not been used in a decade. As Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and I discussed- there must be a lot more hidden spaces in Carleton Place.
Update: We have pretty well figured out it was a cistern room as other people had them in this area etc etc.. More on that tonight.
Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place
Grew up at 28 Frank Street in the 1950s-60s. Shortly after moving in, my father discovered that there was a large stone-walled cistern under the entire kitchen/pantry area. He broke out an opening in the wall between the basement and the cistern. We used the old cistern space to store firewood for the fireplace and wood stove.
So now I see all these hidden rooms were all cisterns:)