Kugler Mansion Basement
WHAT/WHERE – This room has been preserved and set as part of the Kugler-Waldschmidt Museum exhibit and shows the original mortared foundation and timber framing as well as the kitchen fireplace. It also exposes the only structural connection between the original house and the modern building. As you can see the basement area is also used for mechanical equipment and some dry storage.
HISTORY – This room served as the kitchen for the household especially used in the winter time. The furniture you see here was all present at the site when we acquired it in 2018. We cleaned and restored it so we could display it here especially for those who may remember it. The house itself has survived four separate eras when it comes to home heating including wood, coal, oil and natural gas. Remnants of an oil overflow pit can be seen in the next room over. That pit may have been mistaken at times for the portal to an underground tunnel leading to the river that allegedly was part of the underground railroad. Our teams did some excavation and never found a tunnel entry but there is evidence of a tunnel on the bank of the river. If such a tunnel existed it would have likely been used to escape attacks by the native American tribes which were not uncommon in the early 1800s. The home is in plain sight of the Milford earthworks that predated European settlements.
CONSTRUCTION – Prior to excavation, in order to prevent the original house from collapsing in the hole a 24 in tall 50-foot-long steel I beam was installed through the stone foundation in the basement of the old house and shimmed into place to underpin the east side of the house. Once the hole was dug the dry (clay) mortared stone foundation on the east dimension of the house collapsed into the hole making way for the modern structure you see here. A similar procedure was conducted on the west wall of the stone stable and all of the stone collected in the excavation was reused throughout the site.
FUN FACT – The gray closet structure to the left is the only remnant of the Millcroft restaurant operation. It was not removed with the rest of demo because of its historic importance. It was a custom build refrigeration unit and beer and wine cooler that was used at least until 1985 according to eye witnesses.