Returned home to find 42 Years in the White House waiting for me. A quick look at the photo plates showed only one that seems worth adding to the site (the early Wilson bedroom). But as I started to read, I found on page five that this is going to be interesting, as Ike describes that day in 1891 he first came to the White House to install electrical lighting and looked around the basement (today’s ground floor):
The floor was covered with damp and slimy brick; dust webs were everywhere. An old wooden heating trough hung the entire length of the ceiling of the long corridor. Everything was black and dirty. Rooms that are now parlors were then used for storage of wood and coal. In the kitchen of the original house, now an engine-room [now the north hall and offices], could be seen the old open fireplaces once used for broiling the chickens and baking the hoecakes for the early Father of our country, the old cranes and spits still in place. Out the door to the rear there yet remained the old wine-vault, the meathouse, and the smokehouse.
I’ve already added this and some other quotes to some of the pages.