So, we think we’ve finally finished ‘tearing things up’ phase and are embarking on the ‘putting them back together’ part. Even though we’re not really making any better progress, it feels like a big step. It was getting really discouraging going home every day and realizing the house was one step worse than it was when we got it.
In any case, the time feel ripe for a bit of a retrospective.
We peeled at least eight (with opinions as to whether there were nine or ten) layers of wallpaper off the bedroom. Steamers are wonderful and your bestest friends. Particularly on the old brittle, not too sticky paper. It still took forever, just because there was so much of it, but it was pretty much easy work. Having the plaster underneath was so rewarding – just how smooth it still was under all those layers of mess. We ended up ripping out two and a half of those walls anyway (for varied reasons) but, um, yeah.
We also have a bit better idea of the age of the house now. We found the original 100-acre allotment including the house on a map from 1877, with the owner listed as George LongGrake. (not sure on that capital G in the middle – it was handwritten over the road, but that’s sure my best guess). We also have an unofficial opinion from my grandfather that the woodwork in the front room is civil war /1850’s era style. It surprises me a bit, I would have pegged it more 1920’s. But my grandfather is definetly a more qualified judge, having a fair amount of experience with old houses and antiques.
It amazes me how once we bought this house, people in both our families started coming out of the woodwork with stories of rennovation work they’d done in the past. While I’d known some of them used to live in older houses, I never assumed they’d done the work themselves. It never came up at all before.
So, all that’s left is to repair the plaster, paint, and get someone in for the floors. Can we make it by the wedding aniversary?