Education: Wagner-Ritter House

Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Teachers' Guide

Wagner-Ritter House

The Wagner-Ritter House: 1st floor

 

The Parlor

Furnished with pieces from the house originally, this room's appearance approximates JAHA's best guess of the type of furniture the Wagners had and how it would be arranged.  The stove is not original to the house, but came from another German American household in Old Conemaugh borough.  The furnishings represent late Victorian mass marketed furniture.  The walnut chairs with cane seats were factory produced by Eastlake.  (Charles Locke Eastlake was an English designer and critic whose book Hints on Household Taste proposed a new arsthetic.) The oak rocking chair with the stylized face on the crest rail is a common design found on late Victorian furniture.

On the walls are a variety of religious prints representing the family's Roman Catholicism.  On the wall to the right is St. Cecilia, the patron saint of church music.  On the front wall is a print showing the release of sould from purgatory through memorial masses and prayers of the faithful.  On the far wall is an image of the crucified Christ.

Here one can see the construction method of the house; the exposed planks in the corner allow visitors to view inside the walls.  The wooden winscotting was false grained originally and the alligatored finish is the result of a poorly applied top layer of varnish.

The ceiling is white, and was likely whitewashed originally.  This room was originally the kitchen.

 

 

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