These are stories about my family and its relationship to the Canadian Pacific Railway section houses around mid-north Ontario/Quebec . Most are funny , some are sad , but all are informative . Enjoy !
CPR Section House
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The basement in the Mattawa section house was not one that would ever be considered potential living space for the family . It was already occupied . Occasionally other visitors came by for very short visits .
It was dark , damp and musty - not a place where you would store anything except water resistent items that were rarely needed . Mum placed her mason jars of preserves down there in the cool dark space , perfect for this . During one two year stretch , Mum tried her hand at wine making . Soon , bottles of homemade wine of various flavours joined the mason jars on the bench table in the basement .
The cement floor which raised this hole under our house from cellar to that of basement , had been poured in a shallow 'V' shape . The centre of the floor was the point of the 'V' - a ditch that caught water which seeped through the walls and under the footing , and guided it out a ceramic drain tile to the outside . That pipe was the access point for visitors to the basement from outside . Water out -critters in , a simple concept that worked very well .
Cracks in the wall gave access for water carrying silt .The build up of silt was stained red from iron content and slimy with water .Moss grew along the edge where the wall joined the floor . Every year or so the floor was scraped and the silt shovelled up for bringing outside where it belonged . These cracks during drier periods were adits for other hunting visitors that preferred to stay dry in the search for food . Others visitors didn't seem to mind the slime .