Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Status of Wealth in 19th Century Homes

Myrtleville House is not the typical 19th Century home. The Good’s built a Georgian Style Home, complete with 10 rooms and 7 fireplaces. The cost to build Myrtleville was four hundred and sixty seven pounds, five shillings and nine pence half penny, which is equal to about sixteen thousand dollars today. When pioneers traveled to the new world they would build a log cabin, due to their budget and time restraints, so to find a home of this size and grandeur, it's evident that the Good family was quite well off.

While touring an 1800s home, there are several signs of wealth you can keep an eye out for, such as:

Books- very expensive, and also more likely to be used by families with leisure time.

Painted floor boards-a luxury that added beautification to a home.

A multitude of windows, doors , and rooms in the home- People were taxed on the number of rooms, doors, and windows in the home. As a result, many 19th century homes did not have closets. Closets were considered a room, so to cut back on the cost they would use wardrobes.

More than one story- usually homes in this time period were built as a half story. From the outside, Myrtleville House appears as if a single story; however, it is really two.

Tall white sugar cone. The larger the sugar cone the wealthier you were. A sugar cone cost $100 in 1811. They would place their white sugar cone on the window sill to show neighbours how wealthy they were.

Tea Chest – Tea was very expensive, and therefore enjoyed only by the wealthy.

Come visit Myrtleville House, and see how many of these signs of wealth you can discover!

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