Saturday, February 23, 2008

Status update

I haven't been able to go out to Woodbury for a while now. I've had a few health problems that have stopped me from doing any work on either house.

I should be able to get back to work soon. When I do I'm thinking of concentrating on the Oxford-Boynton house for a little while. This doesn't necessarily mean that I wont get any work done on Woodbury house, but it just wont be as much.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yet again more yard work

I'm beginning to think I'll never get this yard done. Here are a few more before and afters:

First the barn area. I'm still nowhere near done:

The entire area to the left of the barn has yet to be done. You can also see the huge yard debris pile that I've built up. The thinned out stuff to the right is in the meadow:

Next is the meadow:

There is still a lot to do in this area also but it's already looking a lot better:

Another angle:

I found this unusual bottle in the yard while working yesterday:

I know the bottle is newer than the mid 1800's because the seam goes all the way up the bottle and through the neck and lip.

If you look very closely at the lip of the bottle you can see that it has a notch in it, possibly for holding the cap on... maybe? The letters on the bottle are very strange, on the front it has what looks like a number "3" but with an extra part on top of it, followed by what appear to be two lower case "i"s. I cant make out the writing on the bottom of the bottle at all.

We probably wont be back out there today. I'm actually thinking of doing some work on the Oxford-Boynton House.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More yard work and interesting barn finds

We had a few extra hours yesterday so we went back out to Woodbury. I started clearing out the area in front of the barn. Below is a before shot of the barn area:

And here it is as of now:

I still have a long way to go back here but it's start. I started exploring inside the barn and found a few interesting things.

I'm not sure what this first thing is, I'm guessing it's part of an old tractor or some other type of farming implement. The patent date on it is June 22, 1909. Today there is a Stahl company that makes truck bodies and Stahl Headers company but they've only been around since 1946 and 1963 respectively. Anyone know for sure what it is?

And what the heck is this thing?:

I found this plinth block in the barn:

The only other ones it matches is in the main downstairs bathroom. All the rest of them throughout the house look like the one below:

It has nails in it so it was removed from somewhere. The only area that I see it could have come from is in the dining room, a doorway was closed off and turned into a built-in. There was also a few pieces of original trim in the barn but I didn't get any pictures of it.

Next I explored the inside of the house. There is an access panel in the upstairs bathroom that leads to the attic area above the Dining room and Kitchen. I took the panel apart so I could check it out.

We're thinking of eventually expanding the upstairs bathroom into part of this area because right now it's maybe 5'x8' at best. I found this ruler in the attic area, the calender on it is from Nov 1951 to Feb 1953.

I took a few pictures of the house and barn in sepia, I think they turned out pretty good.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A cool discovery and floor plans

We decided to go back out to Woodbury yesterday afternoon. I really wanted to get that Master Bedroom done. I started by removing the drywall from the ceiling, this was quite a dirty job as years of soot from the chimneys had sifted down through the beadboard ceiling and was laying on top of the drywall.

Here are a few shots of the room with all the drywall removed.

I've been using one of the other bedrooms to hold all the garbage I've ripped out of the master bedroom and main hall. Here is a pic of our garbage pile:

Once the drywall was down I took the old carpet up. As is usual for an old house there was another layer underneath, more linoleum.

This one came up very easy compared with the stuff in the hall. I just pulled up a corner and rolled the entire thing back. that was when I made my first cool discovery in this house.

A bunch of old newspapers from 1950 & 1951! They are all in almost perfect condition. All the newspapers I've found in the Oxford-Boynton house were brittle and fell apart the second you touched them, these are like they were the day they were made.

I havent had time to look through all of them yet but I did find a really cool article on an upcoming tour of old homes in Madison, Ga. Madison is loaded with old homes, most of them are beautiful Greek Revival plantations (my dream house).

The article mentions Boxwood, which is a very well known home. The gardens are beautiful, filled with boxwoods and camelias. The article talks about the woman that lived there at the time, Miss Kitty Newton. It says that every 8 or 10 years she trims the boxwoods and the entire town would come out to get clippings. Unfortunately as you can see from the picture above the bottom edge of the page is damaged so I couldn't read part of one paragraph but I was able to read the rest of the article.

I've drawn up a basic floor plan of the house. I'm using this to get a better idea of what we are going to do.

The first floor is where the changes will occur. The large area at the back of the house that is listed as the deck is currently an addition that appears to have been built in the 50's. I believe it was once a porch that was closed in. It's in really sorry shape and needs to be torn down.

At the front of the house is the current sun room. I'm pretty sure this is not original but it is very old. I believe that early on they closed in the wrap around part of the porch to make the room. If that is the case I will be opening it back up and using the windows for the new sun room at the back of the house next to the deck.

Here is a picture of the double doors for the sun room, the windows look the same:

Were hoping to get back out there in the next few days and take the trash pile to the dump and decide what to work on next.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Master Bedroom

We've spent the last few days clearing out our storage unit and taking it to the Woodbury house. The $100 a month we'll save on that will pay for half the Woodbury house mortgage.

Yesterday I got to work on the Master bedroom, this is the room that someone put drywall over the wood walls.

The drywall is very old, probably 50's or early 60's. It was installed with drywall nails. Removing it consists of tearing off small chunks with a prybar then removing the nails from the wood wall.

I only had enough time to remove the drywall from the walls before it got to be too late. There is still drywall on the ceiling.

We probably wont be back out there today since I'm sick as a dog. Hopefully in the next few days we'll be back out to finish up the room. Once the drywall is removed from the room we'll install the trim, sand and paint.