Our Cabin Comes Complete with . . . a Piano

By , February 11, 2010

Our homestead has many interesting features, some of which one wouldn’t expect to find so far from the nearest road. Of these, perhaps the most surprising is the upright piano.

We’re still as taken aback today by the piano as we were when we first saw the property. It’s situated against the back wall of the cabin, uncomfortably close to the shower, which I don’t imagine is doing it a whole lot of good. It is definitely not a feature we looked for in a remote cabin.

The previous owners brought it in by boat with a lot of help from the neighbors, and it appears they had a real struggle to install it. It would have been difficult enough as the cabin is now, but at the time, that part of the cabin was a room. They had to get the piano through the kitchen and into the room through a small doorway. This may explain why the sink counter in the kitchen has a right angle cut away?

We have also been told that the piano was a gift—a surprise gift—for the lady of the house, so secrecy apparently added one more obstacle to what had to have been a truly daunting list!

The piano’s large, in the way, and in need of tuning, but we’re not getting rid of it. How could we? Even if we planned to junk it, removing it would be a huge task. It’s here to stay. We looked inside and found the maker’s name: Cornish Company, Washington, New Jersey. Internet research revealed that the company went out of business in 1915, so the piano, built sometime previous to that, is an antique.

Michelle plays piano a little. I can play the opening bars of the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Chopsticks, and maybe one other tune. Aly’s learning what she can from the two of us. One of these days we’ll get the piano cleaned up, repaired and tuned. When we first bought the property, we told a friend who tunes, repairs, and restores keyboard instruments about it, and suggested a trade: room and board in a beautiful, remote setting for the duration of the restoration. He seemed enthusiastic, but we have yet to make final arrangements.

You can see the piano, and get an idea of the logistics involved in installing it here.

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