Thursday, June 19, 2014

170/365-2 Historical Landmark

"This Old House"

This house was built in 1760 to be the home of a Delaware river pilot.  For two hundred years it would serve as the home for three different river pilots and their families.  In 1964, my grandparents bought it and "modernized" it.  They added oil heat, electricity, and indoor plumbing.  The outhouse, however, is still in the back garden.

My dad now lives here.  Though my parents moved in in 1998, I have always thought of this house as my grandparent's house.  And though it has historical significance, I still think of it only as my grandparent's house.

As I sit here writing, realizing that people have spent their evenings in this very spot for over 250 years, I am awe struck.  This house was built when George II was King of England.  It was built before the Boston Massacre or the Sugar Act.  It was built before the Boston Tea Party or Thomas Paine's writing of Common Sense.  The United States had not yet declared their independence.

In the fifty years that I have been visiting this place, I have never thought of it with regard to what has happened in this country during the lifetime of this house.  I'm not sure if that is due to ignorance or simply the innocence of childhood.  It is going to take me some time to truly wrap my head around these realizations.

As I walk upstairs to bed tonight, I will think about the many steps that have been taken up these stairs.  What stories have been told amidst these walls?  Who may have spent the night under this roof?  Who has shared a meal in the dining room?

So much to think about...