Saturday, May 5, 2018

Been a little busy


With all my long absences from this blog and my lack of visits over to your blogs, I sometimes wonder why any of you even show up, but I'm always thrilled that you do.

As always, there's a reason and this time I think you'll understand even more so.

Let me start with a cute picture and we'll go from there, because this isn't a post that's picturesque.

Bubba taking an afternoon snooze.

Okay, so here we go with the actual post...

This is a picture of the back of my home a few years ago.


Surprisingly bigger than it appears from the front, but not pretty.

That's why you've never seen anything except the front.

This view is actually the prettiest it ever looked.


But see the paint coming up?

Yeah, that's not the worst of it.

It was rotting, the nails and boards were coming apart and although it might sound fun, but wasn't for me... when you walked to the other end it moved. 

Also, there wasn't a way down into the main part of the yard unless you walked all the way to the gate that you can kind of see in the bottom picture to the left.


I lived with it this way for the last 8 years, hopping and planning that one day I could take it down.

Why not fix it or rebuild it?

Because, I found out that there was a flagstone patio underneath that was original to the house.

And if you know me at all, you would know that the wood porch was doomed from that very minute.

All it took was John saying, "Let's take down the porch today" and I was all in.

So off we went.

John cutting away and me taking wood to the wood pile.


Just look at that darling step underneath!







You're probably wondering what that cage is for.

It was built for Bubba so that he can go in and out when he's not with me and not get eaten by random wild animals.


We're leaving the other side of the porch up until we get the top windows painted on the house, which are a lot higher up than they look.


Spraying off the flagstone patio...






Next the cage came off.


The house needs a little power washing, but it's not too bad.




And 4 or 5 of these still need to come out...




But overall, it's in pretty darn good shape.


Just a little patching here and there and definitely some deep cleaning.


We found a flower bed underneath all that dirt too.


We definitely have our work cut out for us, to make it what we want...


but I think the little house feels much better :)


Oh and because we're gluttons for punishment, we also have this little project going on:


More on that soon ;)

xo
rue



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fred and Pearl


I haven't had the easiest time in my quest to find out more about the people that lived in this home before me.



There's been little bits and pieces found here and there, but nothing concrete.

And in fact, my previously found information might not even be true, due to a mix up of the area.

Of course, I'd done a lot of research and I knew a few names, but there was a change of address when they put more houses on my street and the historical society here only keeps records past the 1970s, unless you live in the historical district.

Of which I only live one street over.

Funny, my house is older than some of the ones they keep records on.

But because of location... ugh.

Have you ever heard of such a thing?

So frustrating!

I worked backwards from the people I bought the house from and this is what I came up with...


The Morses'

The McShanes'

Faye Gibbs Bagby

Fred Gibbs.

Some of the information on that piece of paper came later.

Let me explain.

It all started one day when John was out in the backyard with the dogs and came across a little brown bottle.


That lead to a little digging expedition, which uprooted a lot of broken glass and a few more bottles.


Turns out that he had found an old burn pile.


Of course then we were intrigued and went to town for hours pulling up bottle after bottle... 






All from between the 1940s to the 1950s.

Including odds and ends like Christmas bulbs, a regular lightbulb from the 1940s, a pull from a filing cabinet, an old oil can and lots of toothpaste tubes.


From all that digging, we found out that Fred drank whiskey and beer on occasion, that Pearl knew how to sew, that they celebrated Christmas, that someone like to draw with ink, that they used a lot of bleach and brushed their teeth a lot, that Fred could work on cars, that children lived here and so much more.

Then, the information I'd been looking for popped up out of the dirt.


Boom!

A gas card with Fred's name from the 1950s.

Proof for a better idea on the time frame that they lived here.

Sunnyslope is the name of the development on which I live and the name matched the information I found with John at the recorders office.




I didn't notice the information below in the green square that says 'est of Pearl Gibbs to Faye Bagby' until I uploaded this picture.


I found Pearl's name via a search on the internet for her husband and happened upon this...



Pearl Gibbs 1894-1970

She's buried with her son John and her daughter Faye, the one she left this house to.


I also found all sorts of information on her husband Fred Gibbs, b. 1892 d.1987, including a picture of him on a passport from 1920.


He was well traveled being in the military during and after WWI.


We found the picture below in the root cellar about a year ago and now I'm wondering if the man in it could also be Fred.



Later, he was an important miner in this area and there's all sorts of articles and documents about his pursuits, including one with the old address for this house.


Via the 1940 census and these papers, I figured out that he lived at a previous address a few months prior, that happens to be across town. So, I've surmised that he and Pearl bought this house in 1942 and lived here until 1970 when Pearl left the house to her daughter or the 1980s when Fred died.

After that Faye Gibbs Bagby owned the house and she or her family sold it to the Marshals' in 2001 or they listed it and sold it to the Morses' then. I can't be sure at this point.

She died in 2005.

By some miracle and using the old address, I found a picture of the house when it was for sale at that time.


It looks a lot different, doesn't it?

For one thing, I noticed that it had more bushes in front.

A LOT more.

For another, I noticed the windows had already been replaced back then, so I can no longer blame the previous owner that I bought it from for that travesty.

Also, the listing says there's a 3 car garage on the property, which I can't find evidence of, so it must have been on the land that was sold off before I bought it. Not to mention that it lists a dark room somewhere in this house, which I also can't find evidence of.

The most fascinating thing, to me at least, is that I know who put that wallpaper in the bathroom and I hope that Pearl is happy that I found it underneath all that drywall.


More about that project soon ;)

Fred and Pearl.

I think they loved this house as much as I do and I'm so happy that I get to be the one to care for it now, as they did back then.

xo
rue







Saturday, March 17, 2018

My sanity


It's something I question quite a bit.

Especially, when it comes to this house.

Case in point, my latest venture in un-remuddling.

The bathroom you see below looks perfectly fine, doesn't it?


Well, to my eye it just didn't look right.

Of course, I knew there had been some updates to it through the years. For one, the newish sink and toilet didn't match the 1930s bathtub. I happened to find the base of the original matching sink in the side yard.


I'm still looking for a matching top to go with it.

Picture this in pink-ish brown:

image via google
No toilet out there though.

The second thing that bothered me was that the tile happened to be from the 1950s, but I'll get to that later.

The third thing was the drywall.

In case you're not up on your drywall history, it's existed for a very long time, but it just wasn't commonly used until after WWII. Lath and plaster was much more common and the walls in my home are no exception. If you're curious enough to learn more, you can read more about it 'here'.

'So, what could it be covering up?'

That's the question that nagged me for almost 8 years, until one day about a month ago, I thought to myself...

'Why not just tear a little piece off by the outlet. Worse case scenario I could just patch it and forget about it.'


Cute wallpaper?!

And that's when it all started.





Okay, so I can fix the trim around the cabinet.


Why not try the other wall?

ah oh...


Okay, so I'll figure that out later.

How about the sink area....


And so it went and here I am.



Or was, to be honest.

The walls and ceiling are almost done.

You know what took so long?

These:


Those, my fiends, are the remnants when you take off drywall.

It leaves behind an evil hard glue that won't come off with anything except a hammer, a chisel, a sander and a scraper.

And if you're not careful it'll try to take the wallpaper with it.

You know what else it leaves behind?

Four billion screws and nails.

It's not fun.

at. all.

But, it's so worth it.

I found three layers of paint in different shades of tan-ish pink underneath the sink where it's never been wallpapered, so I know the wallpaper isn't original, but I love it anyway.

I think it's from the 50s, which was when the tile was redone.

Speaking of..

I also happened to find a tile in the side yard, that just happens to match one of the paint colors I found in the bathroom.


It all makes so much sense now.

My little 1930s bathroom, got a makeover in the 1950s and then the last owners changed out the sink and toilet and added the drywall.

So, I'm doing my best to take it back to when it was redone in the 50s.

It'll be like the rest of the evils had never been done.

And you'll never guess what else!

I know who the owners were in the 1950s, but I'm not telling you about Fred and Pearl until next time.

You're also going to have to wait for pictures of the finished bathroom.

Or at least as finished as I can get it.

Who knows when or if I'll ever find those missing bathroom fixtures.

xo
rue