CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Inside Out Room

Unlike Larchwood , the CPR section house in Mattawa was a duplex . The senior section man , his wife and three fully grown boys (young men) lived in the east half , while our family lived in the west portion . The general layout was the same as all section houses , except that this house had an addition put on sometime before WWII.

This addition meant the original front room now became a dining room and the extra room was the designated living room . We 'fondly' referred to it as the inside out room ...

Whoever built this addition was more bricklayer than carpenter . A sturdy brick structure was constructed first . In order to accomodate the asphalt exterior shingles , boards were used outside to cover the brick , as a base to apply shingles . To this point , the addition was on track- so to speak .

Somewhere , at this point , common sense fell out of the contractor's head . There was not a single piece of wood on the interior , no insulation...in fact not even an air space between the exterior and interior walls. In fact, there was no interior wall . The bricks were simply plastered smooth with the hardest plaster known to man I'm sure...or so my Dad swore...and swear he did , time and again.

So it became known to us as the inside out room-wood on the outside and brick on the inside .

Mum had covered the walls in a plain wallpaper which added the only insulation in the room . One millimeter does little to hold the heat when the winters reach -30C or more. After the first two winters , Dad bodged together a moveable blockade to protect us from the room during winter. We used it for cold storage from December until March , and stuck with the basic section house . After the weather warmed, we appreciated the space of the livingroom.

Needless to say , but I'll say it anyway , hanging a picture was next to impossible . After many plaster chips , Dad was able to hang the only picture we had , Mum's paint-by-number, high on the wall and off centre. Mum never mentioned the location - up was up .

No comments: