|Ellen Mary Tobin Flynn - My Grandmother|
..In this photo, the small open door behind my grandmother was the mysterious luring Root Cellar.
You could access the root cellar through this door from the outside or from a door in the back hallway of the house. This darken place evoked great curiosity for me as a young girl, wondering just what could be in there. I remember clearly when Grand Dad or Nanny would open the door a wave of cool air would come surging out encircling my little body. I was never allowed to go into this space, I could only stand at the threshold and peer in. I can remember a long electrical wire leading to a single hanging light bulb, and when the power string was pulled it gave this room minimal lighting but showed the detail of numerous spider webs. As Grand Dad proceeded in, I waited impatiently at the doorway.
A Root Cellar on the back of the house is something not seen these days. But for the Flynn Family in the 1930's -1960's it was a necessity in preserving their food especially with no refrigeration. Aunt Agnes tells of how they stored vegetables from the garden, beef and pork salt meat, and coal for the heat stove, all for the long winter months. There was also an area where their father kept some tools like the grinding stone for the ax. As children they did not like going into the Root Cellar, being scared of the mice that may of lived in this dark place. When I questioned her as to how she knew for sure there were mice in there. She stated, that when the door would be opened they would see the mice scurry away and they could hear the mice at night scratching in the walls.
So, there you have it, the mystery of the Root Cellar, vegetables, salt meat, and coal along with tools, mice and spiders.