Clues in a Photograph
Details of 1882 photograph of Hege House
1882 Photograph of the Hege House
by E.F. Small, Winston, NC.
Peer through the open front door of the Hege House and into the downstairs center hall. You can barely see the staircase rising to the second floor just behind the seated lady’s shoulder. There appears to be a gas lamp hanging from the hall ceiling (no electricity yet!).
The center hall goes straight through to a rear door, a pre-air conditioning solution for a hot summer day — cooling air was drawn through the house when both doors were open.
However, this photograph was shot on a winter day in 1882 (notice the bare trees). It must have been a mild day though, because several windows are open—can you find the houseplants sitting on a window sill or the birdcage airing on the upper porch?
Automobiles did not exist in 1882 when this photograph was made. Do you notice the wagon wheel tracks in the dirt street?
The three artifacts at left were found during archaeological excavation of the Reich-Hege lot in 2005-2006. Can you locate them in the 1882 photograph?
Artifact 1 is a porcelain doorknob, look at the second floor porch door. Artifact 2 is a star-shapped iron shutter “dog” used to hold open window shutters, look at all the windows — the shutters are operable and you notice two windows have closed shutters? Artifact 3 is an iron gutter hanger — too small to see but can you locate the downspouts at the building corners?