A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Can You Dig It?

Yesterday we ordered 5 cubic yards of Grade 8 Limestone for the paths and patio foundation. According to calculations it will fill the patio and about half of the paths. The delivery truck can only handle 5 yards at a time because of the weight of the stone, but we planned to order a portion at a time anyway to see how much it really covers. It will be delivered on Monday, so hopefully we’ll have most of the digging done by then. It looks like rain and cold are coming our way too, but maybe that will change.

We’ve spent more time digging after work. (Really, if anyone wants to drop by and help, we have extra shovels. What? No? I don’t get it — it’s sooo much fun!) I’d show pictures, but it just looks like a bunch of dirt.

In addition to a few more bricks, we’ve come across a lot of broken glass from window panes in one area, but not necessarily from regular windows; more like something from a greenhouse.

Morton Grove had an international reputation at the turn of the last century for cultivating exotic roses, and the Poehlmann Brothers operated the largest greenhouses in the U.S., also winning first prize for the Poehlmann Rose at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The company folded in the ’30s during the Great Depression, but there were still several other greenhouses very close to our house as late as the mid-1970s before they were torn down for new housing. Maybe our land was originally a spot for one of these greenhouses in the early 1900s.

We also dug up a couple of concrete footings, perhaps from an old fence. Then I found what looks to be a makeup compact and a vintage prescription bottle. The bottom of the bottle is stamped “Abbott Labs, Made in U.S.A.” No idea how old it would be. I’m guessing it’s 1950s or ’60s, although there’s a “7” and “4” on either side of the mark in the middle. Somehow I don’t think that signifies the year.


In any case, I’ll add the bottle to my kitchen window arrangement, but the compact will probably have to be thrown out.

The neighbor in our previous house let us know that his landscapers won’t be coming to lay down sod and pull up the patio until next week now, so he even offered to help carry the flagstones down if we didn’t want to wait until then! So nice. But we told him we weren’t in a hurry for them and could wait.


  1. Josh on April 25, 2008 at 11:13 am

    What cool finds! The patina on that compact is terrific.

  2. denise on April 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Josh! I’m thinking the one side could be brass or even copper because of the verdigris. I’ll see if I can clean it up more, but I don’t know what that stuff is in the middle—that part is definitely trash. Maybe I can repurpose it as a candleholder or a coaster?

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