The Secret of the Old Outbuilding
Armed with my digital camera and a flashlight, I went hunting for clues. I found an area of the brick patio with lots of charred wood chips in the crevices and extending under the lattice. Nearby is an area with sort of baked-on black char. This photo turned out blurry, but you can get the idea:
To the right of the workshop is a brick something that looks like it might've been part of a foundation once.
Near this thing, I found a long metal tool of some sort sticking out of the lattice. It is rusted to death, but it looks like it is made very similarly to the wood stove tool I found in the attic. Anybody know what this is?
I tried to peer under the building with the flashlight for more clues, but the lattice got in the way too much. I couldn't even get a good look at the underside of the floor.
But based on the evidence I have so far, I think the workshop is not the same building as the outbuilding labeled as a single family residence on the Sanborn maps. I think it was built on almost the exact same spot, probably even using some of the same materials. Two of the doors in the workshop are old, and the patio bricks are definitely old.
I'm still not sure whether the brick patio is 1. an original part of the old building or 2. constructed from old bricks that once made up the building's foundation.
Evidence for Conjecture #1:
Evidence for Conjecture #2:
Evidence that could go either way:
Friday at work I was regaling a co-worker with my troubles in figuring out the age of various parts of my house. He looked confused and said, "Why do you care?"
The question surprised me. I guess people who don't live in old houses don't care how their houses got the way they are or what they looked like before. I, on the other hand, can't imagine NOT caring.