Monday, October 24, 2011

Gas Fireplaces

It's been a long time since I've posted anything. I'll need to think about what I've forgotten to post since my last.

Recently we had our wood burning fireplaces converted to gas on the main level. Until this point we used alcohol burning canisters in them on very rare occasions. The fireplaces include the living room, library and master bedroom. Lynn's uncle Eddie Geier was gracious enough to do the work for us. He is a newly retired pipe fitter from Belden. He is not only very knowledgeable but also very in tune with the historic nature of our home. He was perfect for the job. I've attached a rather comical sketch he later delivered to us. Ella (age 4) and Zack (age 2) really enjoyed his occasional visits. I think Eddie really enjoyed coming over also. He and the kids got some bonding time in that they would not have otherwise. I'd say Eddie had to make around 10 visits to complete the work. As expected, he did an incredible job. All of the gas lines are ran immaculately and in a way as to not disturb the integrity of the architecture.

We're very excited to put all three of the ventless gas fireplaces to use this winter. Who knows, maybe we can enlist Eddie's help one day to do the fireplaces upstairs too :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Living in an Antique

Our friend Dick Brown sent this in the mail. It's an article from The Courier-Times, New Castle, IN, Monday, December 18 1995 newspaper...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Woman's History Club Visit

This is a clipping from the Nettle Creek Gazette, Wednesday - May 5th, 2010 after the Woman's History Club toured our home.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Christmas Home Tour - Western Wayne News, Nov 5, 1997

Behind the Mantle

My sister-in-law Kim sat her necklace on the mantle in our bedroom. It somehow slid behind. I pried the mantle away from wall slightly and found these things dating from 1865. We can not identify anyone in the photos but it was nonetheless very interesting.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

History Club Tours House

Today the Hagerstown History Club toured our House. It seems that approximately 20 people attended. I gave a brief summery of what I knew with everyone gathered in the foyer. Lynn took one group and I took another around the home. We walked room to room and shared information both ways about the home. I think it turned out to be more of a general open house than it was an informative historical tour, which is my fault. Truth is, I don't have enough of the history memorized to give a very good tour. Hopefully most are like me and can just soak it in and appreciate it for what it is. For the tour we chose not to focus on the renovations too much, just made mention of what we'd done (since it was for history's sake).

For those interested, key renovations to date include:
New Roof
New Driveway
New Furnace
Rebuilt Chimneys from the 3rd floor up
New Windows
Conversion of two bedrooms upstairs to a large family room
Rebuilt Balcony off of upstairs family room
Conversion of one main level parlor into a master bathroom, closet and vanity
Stripped wallpaper, paint, carpet, light fixtures
New Drainage from Springhouse to creek
Demolished privacy fence on south side

We were a little nervous about what some in the History club would think of the more modern renovations like the upstairs family room and the master closet/bath area. It's not like we were giving the tour to the "Mess with Old Homes Club". I suspect some didn't care for those spaces or how we've handled them, but most seemed to approve. Lynn said someone asked what made us want to buy this place, to which she answered that she initially liked it, toured it and didn't like it as well, and then was convinced by me. I was asked if we ever got or do get overwhelmed. Lynn and I both get overwhelmed, and especially did at the beginning. Most of the projects have turned out to cost double what we anticipated and we are presented with unexpected projects on a fairly regular basis, not to mention I think the general upkeep is much more than we dealt with in our last home. I think we're now used to it and have completely accepted that we have a life long project on our hands. All in all we are very happy here and feel very fortunate to take care of it and call it home. It hasn't done us in, we don't think it will, and we feel very good about raising our family here.

One of the attendees seemed to believe that the house wasn't built as early as we think, claiming that construction began possibly as late as 1850's and for the Newcomb family. The abstract seems to suggest otherwise so we'll stick with that (1835-ish for Abraham Kinsey by George Gillespie). I have a difficult time keeping previous owners and dates memorized so I was helped in that respect on a couple of occasions. A couple attendees mentioned that they had done writings or reports on the home. I really hope we can get copies of those. We chose not to tour the basement which I think upset some. I apologized, but explained that it is currently a very messy and dangerous area that we preferred to not take a big group through. Sorry!

All in all, I think it went ok. The group was very appreciative and kind. I'm not sure how much information was new to them but hopefully they enjoyed seeing the house and I think some were just as interested to see what we've done and how it looks with different owners.

This was not the first time for most of them to tour the home, which we fully anticipated. Some even made mention that they had looked at or considered buying the home at some point. I wish I was keeping track of all who've said that to us over the years, it must be more than 30 people who either have or know someone who has considered. They obviously chose not to buy for a reason, and sometimes that makes us go "hmm." It's a strange feeling to live in a place that so many are so familiar with and have stories of. It can sometimes feel like we're guests.