Chapter X (quotes from the book are in olive)
Chapter 10 is among the shortest in the book but contains a detailed description of the contents of Laura's home and in doing so provides us with clues to some of the furniture still there today. Much of the information about the contents of the cottage is further explored on the page of this site, The Cottage.
Laura begins this chapter by telling us a bit about the hinges of the doors and the lights lying just outside each one by saying...
"The frong door swung open on H and L hinges from a forge in North Carolina and lamps from the same iron-forge lighted the way to the dwelling..."
The H and L hinges mentioned here have a unique story. I mention them a bit on the Leitmotif page of this site but in short, they have a bit of lore surrounding them. H and L stands for the way they appear when hung and this type of hinge was used extensively in early America for hanging heavier doors or fence gates on farms. When hung in one orientation they appear to have the shape of the letters, H and L as you can see in the accompanying picture. It is very likely that Laura grew up with this type of hinge on her father's dairy farm barns or fenced fields so she would have been familiar with them. Old wives' tales go a bit further and tell that the H and L stands for Holy Lord and that the iron-forged hinges protect against witches or enchantments both for their metal and words they represent.
Laura tells us that the hinges and lantern lights at the doors of the cottage came from a forge in North Carolina where she kept her summer cabin, but to date I have not been able to locate the specific forge they were formed in. Laura doesn't mention it in her book but cottage lore says that the locks of the doors originated in the same forge. These locks are the only part of the cottage or contents that I see a expression of the feminine or of love. Their heart shape reminds us of the young woman that peeks from behind the somber writings and austere lifestyle of Laura's life.