Mystery Photo No. 1
I will begin by admitting my ignorance of rural life. I have always lived in the suburbs and have spent over 20 years working in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. So, please forgive me if I am unable to identify some objects in this photo that are obvious to you. Just roll your eyes at my ignorance and post a comment to help me out! Enough about my shortcomings; here's the photo:
- Who are these people? If I had to guess, I would say they were my second great-grandfather John Shaper, his daughter Emma (on the left) and his second wife Lydia Williams Shaper (on the right). If this photo was, in fact, taken in 1894, John would have been 58, Emma 16, and Lydia 22. I have other photos of Emma and this could certainly be her, but I can't be sure.
- Is the building a house? There is no chimney and no windows are visible. Granted, there could be a window in the rear, but I would expect to see one on the side as well. As I recall from a visit to a living history site several years ago, back in the old days, windows were usually placed opposite other windows or doors to create cross-ventilation and cool the house. If it is a house, how was it heated and how did they cook without a fireplace?
- What is the object that appears to be a box made of wood slats on the left side of the building?
- What's up with that piece of wood sloped against the front left side of the building? I thought perhaps it was used to collect rainwater coming off the roof, but there is no receptacle in which to capture it. Also, would you divert the rainwater to accumulate right next to the door?
- Why are there big hoops hanging on the building and for what were the hoops used?
- To the right of the house, in front of the man and the dog, is a log propped atop V-shaped wood legs. I kind of looks like a sawhorse missing a couple of legs. Is this a sawhorse or something else?
- I am completely perplexed by the thingamabob in the lower right side of the photo. It appears to be something store-bought rather than homemade. It looks like a little horizontal ladder-shaped object with wooden dowels running through it vertically. What in the world is it?