Saturday, January 22, 2011


Taughannock Boulevard House

The house I grew up in was situated on the ridge of Cayuga Lake along Route 89 eight miles north of Ithaca, New York.

A slate sidewalk brought visitors to the front porch where they entered a wide front hall. A landing to the right began the staircase to the second floor. To the left was a large double living room with stone fireplace. Straight ahead the large farm kitchen provided warmth in winter, and was a favorite family gathering spot year round.  The screened porch off the kitchen served as a sitting area.  The kitchen had two large windows around which cabinets were built. Those windows afforded a view out onto the circular driveway and the pear trees that grew within the circle.

Off the kitchen was a long narrow room with a floor that slanted and served as our TV room. Another door went into the living/dining room area. The house had three large bedrooms upstairs, one bath, and a large walk-in attic. Closets were at a minimum.  The bathroom was small; six of us lived in the house over the summer, and we made do.  

Every house has its “quirks” and ours certainly did. Houses on the ledge of the lake did not have a great water supply. We had a tiny well out back that provided the minimum amount of undrinkable water.  For years we brought jugs of water from the restaurant (Taughannock Farms Inn) to provide water for drinking and cooking.  Baths were taken with barely an inch of water, and laundry was done with an old wringer washer with clothes hung on outside clotheslines or inside clothes racks.
Wringer Washer
Photo from
The house had lightning rods installed along the roofline to protect against lightning strikes, but electrical current inside the house, however, was a problem. When you plugged an appliance in and something else was running off the same circuit a fuse would blow. Sometimes life at the Boulevard house was a challenge. 

During the 1950s a small silver metal box sat next to the front door.  Twice a week the Dairy Lea milkman left milk products ordered from a list, usually made up by my grandmother (pictured below), left in the box. 
Mary "Nana" Nunn - Aug. 1963
The black wall telephone was located behind the door in the dining room. We were on a party line, so you had to listen for the ring to know if the call was for you. During the 1960s the phone was moved into the kitchen.

My parents sold our family home in 1976 and moved to their Florida home to live full time. The house continues to provide happiness as the family living there now loves the house as much as we did.  I am very thankful got for that.

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