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.


  1. Wow......good luck with all this. I believe you are up to the task and I am rooting for you.

  2. ...and when can we expect the "after photos?" I'm sure it would be stunning!