Basement of the Park Forest House Museum
Outdoor clotheslines were forbidden in the rentals. Diapers and muddy clothes were washed and hug to dry in the camp basement, where they took forever to dry.
On the ironing board, we have a cartoon on the lack of dry clothes, from the early Reporter newspaper, by Margaret O'Harrow, wife of the first Village President, Dennis O'Harrow.
The basement should have a workbench made of 2 x 4's culled from the lumberyard scrap heap. Two by fours were really 2 x 4's not the thinner wood sold today. Use of true 2 x 4's is part of the reason these rentals have stood the test of time.
Basements leaked then as they do now. The hard clay subsoil is the main reason. Early rentals did not have sump pumps, as this one does. And this basement is authentic--it still leaks!
Note: The museum is no longer in an original rental townhome. We still display most of these artifacts in a "basement area." We leave up these photos so you can see an original setting.
All images photographed and copyrighted by Jane Nicoll, 2008.