Monday, April 03, 2017

The Old House Update - End of March

My desire to sew seems to have disappeared and I have been in a general funk for the past year.  I suspect that the stress and grief of losing both parents, settling their estate and then buying the old house with all its issues had just taken a toll on my mental health.  I am going to have to force myself to go down to the sewing corner and do something because I know that I will feel better once I start creating pretty clothes again.  I think I will start with something simple like skirts and tees for the Diva.  She needs the clothes and I need to get myself motivated again.

 Meanwhile,
Taking precautions

DH has made two more trips to the old house by himself and has made good progress with the help of his dad and brother-in-law.  He has almost completed the demolition of the upstairs bathroom:

Making progress



DH found one piece of lathe with the name of the lumber company on it. 

More progress

I love this window.
After this weekend -- mostly done.


We discovered the bathroom had also been a nursery for critters:
Mouse nest from old newspapers

Birds nests

Mud daubers nests

We also got two new breakers installed for the sump pumps (temporary until the new breaker box is installed) and the cistern was filled with sand.  No more worries about little people falling down the well when they come to visit.  We will still need to replace the cover on the other well to make that safer..

Filled cistern.  Next step is to level this and cover with a layer of gravel, a layer of dirt and seed it for grass.

We got a lot of much needed rain over that weekend and DH was relieved that the sump pumps worked perfectly.  Basement stayed dry.  While he was in town, he also talked to R- about doing drywall and other carpentry and we followed up with the plumber and electrician. 

Brother in law Pat opened the wall over the drain while DH worked on the bathroom so that it can be replaced.  The drain pipe had been wrapped with newspapers dated July 6, 1922.  for insulation which confirms our theories about when the plumbing was installed.  The town had its first sewer system installed in 1923 and we had noted in the abstract the owners ("Sig" O- and his wife Rosa) of the property at the time had mortgaged the house for $1,000 in October 1923.  Combining these facts with the newspapers we found under the stairs, we think that they installed the plumbing, maybe the electricity and dug out the basement in 1922 or 1923.





*****

After some more research, I did find that one of my theories about a former owner of the land was incorrect.  There were two men named W. H. R- living in R- at the same time, both owning land in the same township.  The one that owned our land had the middle name Holt and was married to Mary.  He was a farmer who only lived there a short while, then moved to Kansas.  He died young, only 40, and his widow remarried and moved to Wyoming.  The second W. H. R-, the one that I thought was the owner of our land, had the middle name Henry and was married to Joanna.  He was the minister who founded the town's First Christian Church.  He died in 1914 and is buried in a local cemetery.  I'll update my history later.

******

DH is going back up this coming weekend while I continue to manage things at home, then he is planning to stay home for a couple of weeks to be around for Easter, the Scout's Eagle Court of Honor and other obligations. I probably will not make it back up to the house until after school is out as it is that freakishly busy time where beginning of spring activities overlap with school activities and 4-H projects getting underway. Our weekends are booked from now to mid May.


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