Sunday, July 22, 2012

River Ridge Farm in Franklin - Inside the House

A few days ago, I promised to post some interior shots from our visit to River Ridge Farm. Bob's grandfather grew up in one of the workers' houses on the property of this vast estate. Often referred to as a castle, the grand house is absolutely impressive. It is not, however, a historical site and has not been preserved as such.
Above are the three original walk-in refrigerators. The tops of the doors are on the bottom of the shot. The small doors at the top held ice that cooled the 'refrigerators' below. Each refrigerator was the size of a large closet. They're used for storage today.

The house is full of details that would make any historian cringe. Different owners over the years have adapted it to fit their needs. Acoustic tiles cover ceilings, rooms have been subdivided, wallpaper borders decorate walls, etc. Amidst all of these added bits, however, are many original details. Below is an intercom system that must have been state of the art when the house was built.

I love, love, love this original cabinetry in the butler's pantry. I wonder what the original countertop was made of.

This was the most remarkable thing to me. They still use this coal furnace today! All winter long, they shovel coal into the furnace to heat the house. I didn't even know you could still buy coal.
The view from a bedroom window, below, shows the Allegheny River on the left and the town of Franklin on the right.

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