In the past week, the backyard has become the focus of attention. The stars finally aligned and our neighbor, Ken, was able to find a bit of free time to dig our new sewer line with his backhoe.
The challenge was that the county sewer line is in the middle of Silver Street and we had to get there without digging up the pavement. As luck would have it, we ran into a couple of generations of old sewer line while trenching toward Silver Street and this helped us confirm the best path through the yard.
The clay pipe was probably installed in the 1920s when the hotel got plumbing for the first time. It was later abandoned and replaced by a more modern plastic pipe that ran along side of it. We stumbled across the plastic pipe about half way to Silver Street and we removed most of it. Where we got lucky was at the edge of Silver Street. The plastic pipe continued out under the street to connect with the county sewer and it had a nice slip coupling right on the property line. This will allow us to neatly connect our new sewer line to the county with less digging than expected.
Now, you would think that with all the digging, we would have found a bottle or two. We didn’t, of course. It was obvious that when the ground had been trenched for the earlier sewer lines, anything of interest had already been removed. This was disappointing but there was another project that proved to be more interesting.
There used to be a brick path in back of the hotel and from this, I was harvesting period bricks to use as thresholds at the front of the saloon.
While pulling the bricks loose from the ground, I noticed a lot of green glass fragments in the soil. These turned out to be from several dozen blown glass wine bottles that were inserted neck down all along the edge of the path.
They were all broken, of course, but still fun to rescue and speculate about what they were doing there. I suspect that it was a decorative touch from the late 1800s.
Now, they will be cleaned up and strung together as fence ornamentation like I’ve seen in Gold Hill and Virginia City.