Friday, October 30, 2015

Season winding down

 The season is winding down. More has been accomplished than I anticipated for this year. Thanks largely in part to the many kind and hard working individuals that enlisted onto the project.Yet there is still so much left to do! The dividing wall downstairs has been removed and stud walls have begun to be dissembled. A few floor joists were placed in the kitchen. With these in place an accurate measurement may be ascertained so as to lay out the new staircase this winter. The floor and walls have been removed from a bit of the upstairs and the space really changes. The chimney was removed prior to the downstairs wall removal. With the completion of the back wall, most of the hole has been filled in behind the house. Much of the earth that had been removed had been thrown behind the kitchen addition. Thus largely contributing to the floor joist decay. Did I mention that the stone wall on the back of the house has been completed? Yeah no big deal. Just another day Rolling with Sisyphus.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What happened to Summer?

 I do not recall how these stones made it up on the wall. So far none have decided to fall. The piles on the ground have started to disappear. And I'm sure glad of it. It is amazing how much can be accomplished in beautiful 70 degree weather with low humidity! I'm hoping to get the north wall closed up in a matter of days...unless something pressing comes up. I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch. With any luck and continued beautiful fall. Sisyphus will continue to push the rock back up the hill. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Good News Bad News

 Thus far, the North wall is approximately half up. A bit of bad news a couple weeks back. I would like to find the crew that constructed the plywood addition in the southeast corner. For when they did so they kindly undercut the SE stone wall. The corner did have some damage as well so it was an "easy" decision to do a complete tear down. The footing has been dug, poured, and the foundation is up to grade (not pictured). It is for the best but will add a few weeks to the project. But whats a few weeks in the grand scheme of life? The porch has started to disappear. The roof at least. When it is completely removed, the view from the street will be something to behold.

Two sides now have a new sill
Some of the early windows still remain underneath the layers of time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Heat ahead

The inside wall progressing
Notice the re-purposed corner stone. It had been a lintel, most likely broke when it was being dressed.
Sadly my walk through is no longer usable.

 A few of these photos are a bit dated. One has only so many hours in the day to work and update the blog. A couple of wonderful days and then back to the heat and humidity. I am very much the tortoise.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Stones above ground

 I cannot remember where I started this week, or if there was a start. Just a few snapshots of the wall moving up. I have had some wonderful help as of late and have put them to taking bricks off the kitchen addition, demo, and moving stone. I have found myself improving (a little) at my stone work. Just a lot of stepping back to observe. Half the job is just looking. The last two pictures is bringing the stone wall back into the kitchen. I suppose this is the end to another week. Here's to another ahead!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Just a few photos at the end of the day of a little of what was accomplished last week. I back-filled this morning before the rain came in. Supposed to be warm and sunny tomorrow. Which comes early.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

First push

This town has seen so much of its architectural history destroyed. A few floods took some buildings, but the best were built with this force of nature in mind. Some were lost to neglect or fire. The majority fell under the worst force of nature; mankind's ignorance. How many man hours did it take to lay the brick, quarry the stone, and mill the boards? How many men labored under the searing sun, back and brow drenched in sweat; to see the thing they labored and thought to do with diligence and care, mindlessly destroyed by those in charge? What did they see when they looked at these jewels of this town; just dollar signs and an empty lot? Alas this jewel that has survived "perpetuation by neglect" and it shall be with Sisyphus that its rocks are pushed toward the top again. Sam

The north wall as it fell.
Eight truck loads of garbage removed from house. Anyone want a television?
More garbage

South 'bedroom'

Upstairs hallway looking from 1890s addition into 1857 stone portion.

Newest addition where all plumbing was run in late 1990s? To be removed.

Pristine kitchen, if you are into dumps.

Notice any timbers? Approximately thirty inches on center, 9"x8"x18' hand hewn oak timbers supporting second floor.

South view of house

Southeast hillside view

Looking toward North wall.

Northwest corner of wall. Note the large approximately 14"x14". Still to measure.

Stone and debris to remove so as to dig 42" frost footing.
 Jim wisely advised to shoring up the timbers on both sides of the north end of the house.

A steel cable added between the two timbers

The galvanized steel conveyor which greatly aided in moving stone from wall base.

Most interesting rubble masonry construction. Mortar was a precious commodity in 1857 and reserved for setting stones. Rubble was packed in with mud.

Side view of front door. Note lintel being supported by steel elephant jack. Many stones had to be removed due to precariousness of situation.

The dirt and debris was sifted to remove the large chunks of mortar.

Beginning the trench for the footing.

The layers of floor. Note the fine gravel layer, probably the first floor. Up in layers then are what remains of oak planks. Finally a fir sub-floor with narrow hard maple flooring. Also note the wedging of maple boards to level the floor near the edge.

Exposed corner of 1890s limestone basement wall

A 'mole' has been busy moving dirt

About a ton of sand and half ton of aggregate hand shoveled off of truck. House is on hillside and thus all materials have to be hand carted up or down to road.

Approved footing ready for the twelve batches of cement.

Kitchen at start of demolition.

1890s chimney covered at a later date

Sadly the large timber was cut into and badly notched.

Attic and second floor chimney removed

First floor portion of chimney ready to drop.