Old homes have stood the test of time

Or .. maybe they just got lucky.  I’m still trying to figure out which category our house falls into.  Each new wall we expose reveals new mysteries to decipher.  Today brought two of them.  Tearing down drywall in the stairwell revealed the floor joist framing.  I don’t have a picture yet, and I need to tear out a ceiling somewhere to get a better view .. but I’m certainly puzzled.  And just while I was mulling over the floor joist system, I came upon this:

This interior wall separates the back bedroom from the kitchen/laundry area.  It had lath but no plaster on the bedroom side.  The horrible veneer side was on top of that.  When we pull off the lath, that strange zig-zag pattern of cross bracing appeared.  What’s even more strange, is that the outside wall immediately to the left has the same zig-zag bracing behind the fiberglass bats.  I’m thinking perhaps a sheer wall .. but since nothing in the interior has been obviously “load bearing” I don’t know why this inside wall has the bracing too.  The outside walls on the second floor didn’t have this.  Also, sheer bracing is usually let-in by cutting notches in the vertical 2×4’s, not the other way around.

Obviously I will be taking comments from people more in the know than I am.

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