The Rooms We Lost
      ~ The Garret

   The next room, under the roof, that has essentially disappeared, at least in name, from modern homes was the garret. The garret is commonly referred to today by the names of attic or the crawlspace. But the actual function of the garret differed from what we think of today as an attic. The name comes from the Old French word guerite, which referred to a sentry post. The word eventually was anglicized to refer to the topmost room in a house. And in many cases, the garret was utilized as an extra bedroom for younger folk or perhaps by a renter. This was most often found in villages and towns where single, young men found employment, but could not afford a home of their own. They would take up residence with a local family, renting a garret for their bedroom and eating their meals with the family in the kitchen or dining room.

   Today, homeowners usually have a very small open space: the crawlspace between the roof and the top level of the ceiling of their topmost room, which they call the attic. It is usually so small that nothing could be stored there, although the definition most people use for attic is a storage space.

   As noted above, the garret was more than just an attic, a storage space. Even if the space was not large enough in height for a grown person to stand up in, the garret might be used as a spare bedroom for children. In the winter, it might be used to store corn.

   As shown in the diagram below, the garret was created by building walls in the attic, to create a usable room in the middle of the space. The two remaining portions of the original attic would thusly become two separate attics.

   In the diagram below, the garret is indicated in red.