Holes in basement walls

my house is over 100 yrs old and I have no way To contact The original owners. In the basement I have found two large holes in the walls, both holes lead to other parts of the house under the house which is just plain dirt. I have covered the holes to keep in the warmth- but recently wondered if they had a purpose. Does anyone know? Is there a reason to leave them uncovered?

Trying to keep warm in Alaska

  4 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2018
    Maybe they were just used for storage..........

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 02, 2018
    I lived in a turn of the century house for fourteen years. We had a huge opening in an outside wall in the basement that was covered by siding from the outside and thick foam board from the inside. I believe it was for dumping coal or wood in to the basement for putting into whatever they used for heat. The basement was completely unfinished with only a rough concrete floor. Very cold in the winter. It only had a plywood door going into it that led to the stairs up and the back stairs getting into the house. At least at one point someone was nice enough to enclose the entire back area with both stairs.

  • it could have been part of a root cellar or food storage system.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 02, 2018
    If they also had freezing pipe problems, they could have heated the basement and used metal flue pipes in the holes to run warm air to prevent the bathroom from freezing up. Could be an old sewer line.