Evidence of Historic Fire at Durant Kenrick House and Grounds

Survey of House Framing Turns Up Suprises

As the carpenters are finishing up the interior of the Durant-Kenrick house, we recently went around to survey and photograph some of the framing details before they got covered up with the final layers of plaster, wood and paint. We discovered an interesting bit of the history of the house- evidence of a small chimney fire! Charred beams were exposed when the plaster and lathe were removed for the running of electrical wires. Sometime in the past the family must have had a bit of a fright when the flames appeared, but the fire must have been contained pretty quickly as the charring does not extend more than a few feet along the beam.

This is along the edge where the ceiling meets the wall above the fireplace in what will be called the “Kenrick Parlor.” When this room is finished it will have an engaging exhibit about the Kenrick nursery and 19th century Horticulture, and gorgeous Neo-classical furniture from the Dewing Collection.

Note the marks of the hewing axe in the lower right corner of the picture. This beam of wood was shaped by hand when the house was first built.