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Before tour: the library

It’s time to tour the ordinary.  Stop one is the library, probably my favorite room in the house.  Here’s how it looks from the outside:

Library’s on the left.

This room is rumored to have been a separate building that was tacked on to the main structure sometime in the early 1800’s.  There are competing theories about what the structure might have been.  The one that seems most likely is that it was a lawyer’s office, particularly since its dimensions and shape closely resemble those of others close-by.  We’re only a few hundred yards from the courthouse, so it’s not a stretch to think that an underused office might have been repurposed as a house addition by a former owner.

Another theory is that the structure was once part of a Female Academy based in Hillsborough.  A trustee of the school, Stephen Moore bought the house in 1834 and may have attached a school building onto the house when the academy failed to thrive.

Or, the addition might have simply been built in place.  The roof pitch and width of the structure match the main house exactly, and a pair of windows in the attic mimic the the attic vents of the main house.  The chimney is a mini-me of the larger versions on the main house.  Though less intriguing, the site-built scenario seems most likely.

The interior is well-proportioned and bright, with light entering on three sides.

Highlights of the space are a fireplace, built-in bookshelves, a large rear door with an original rim lock, a faux-painted closet door and stairs up to an attic and down to the basement.

Accessibility concerns were clearly not paramount in the early 19th century; the library is a full four steps below the level of the main house.

We envision this room ultimately becoming our den and primary hang-out space.  It’ll be an informal living space with a place for the TV out of the more formal room upstairs.  We’d like to put in a woodstove and add more bookshelves.    The library is first on our list for interior renovations, but since we have to pull out the baseboard radiators to work on the walls, we’ll have to wait on central A/C before we get to it…yay, old hou$e$!


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