The Cross House

A Petite Discovery

Last May, I did two posts (here and here) about the discovery that the Cross House originally had a call system, involving “doorbells” in every room, and an attendant annunciator in the kitchen.

It was all rather breathless, and all thanks to Blair!


In the dining room I realized that this push switch was the only remaining component of the 1894 system, other than all the thin wires still snaking through the house. Well, opposite this window…


…is another window, facing east. And look what I discovered…


…but a second call bell. See the wires? See the round outline of the bell?


So, the dining room had TWO call bells!

NOTE: There is no evidence that there was a floor bell. I checked!




9 Responses to A Petite Discovery

  1. Makes one wonder what on gods green earth they would have needed two call bells in the same room for…hmmmmm.

    Maybe each push rang a bell in a different location? In case the help was on another floor, etc?

  2. Were all of the room call bells mounted to door or window casing? It seems that would be easy to find all the locations from the scars left behind.

    I suspect it will not be this easy, though.

    • The dining room is the only room where the call bells were installed on the trim.

      In all the other rooms the bells appear to have been installed onto the plaster.

      • I’m sure your careful approach of restoration will reveal traces of them in the plaster walls elsewhere too. You’ve probably been finding the remains of wires in the walls as well, which will help fill in the gaps of where they were.

  3. That’s really cool Ross. Now I know you are going to want to get this hooked up and working at some point. (In your spare time) hahaha

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