Enon Hall


These journal entries track our progress as we undertake our adventure of restoring this very old home. The main reason for keeping this journal on the web is that we have found that there are very few resources (books or websites) that follow all of the trials and tribulations of restoring an old home...from start to finish.

April 7, 2004

One side painted, one to go. -- Bill

April 15, 2004

I'm running late with my update from last weekend.

Between Easter, rain, and some frustrations along the way, there wasn't any progress made at Enon Hall.

My main plan for the weekend was to till and sow the wildflower field on Saturday before a forecasted week of rain was to roll in starting that night. Well, that plan had to be aborted when I found that the PTO shaft on the tiller that I bought was too short for my tractor. The previous owner has a smaller tractor and the shaft had been cut down to fit it. A new shaft is about $350, but I did finally find a shop on Monday where they would replace the tubes for about a third of the cost of a new one. I'm learning all sorts of new things!

The process of working with Wally the architect has been fun. I think we're zeroing in on a really neat solution. But as we add and enhance I'm sure that our eyes are getting much bigger than our wallet. We'll have to see what it all adds up to. The nice thing is that the construction is almost entirely in a new addition that is very sensitive and complimentary to the original, while solving the present proportion problems. The only construction in the present building is a new bathroom and some moving of windows in the 19th century section. The new plans presently include a new master suite, 3 new full baths (including the master), a sewing room, new kitchen, family room, mud room, pantry, laundry room (with laundry chute from the master walk-in closet!), and garage. The roadside elevation is very formal and colonial and the creekside has more of an informal farmhouse feel. It's very cool. (But how long with it take us to lock 9 exterior doors before bed?!) Once we have final plans, I'll share them here.

Meanwhile, by request, I have posted a present first floor plan. The second floor will follow when I get some spare time. (This is a floorplan that I put together a couple years ago...not the work of Wally the architect!)

Looks like the windmill installation might be happening the first week of May. I still need to paint the other side of the tail! -- Bill

April 18, 2004

This weekend we headed south to take William to Drum Camp at Camp Flintlock. This is the same 18th century camp where he spent a week last summer. For this 3-day session the camp brought in George Carroll who is considered to be the leading fife and drum expert and instructor in America. He founded the Williamsburg Fife & Drum Corps years ago.

With William living at camp and sleeping in a tent, Gay and I killed the weekend checking out area antique shops and sleeping in cheap hotels, since it was too far to come home and then have to turn around and go right back. When we came back to pick him up today, the students and instructors gave the parents a little presentation of some of their new skills.

Then each student took a test to see if they were eligible to be ranked. William scored well enough to earn the rank "Private Drummer" which is the second of seven ranks, the first being "Beginner."

During camp William's drum head cracked and the other students and instructors signed it for him. It will be cool to get it framed. -- Bill

April 25, 2004

Wow, tilling is fun! Of course you have to remember that I'm a child of the suburbs. The closest I ever got to a farm was...well...watching Green Acres on TV. Anyway, I picked up my new, extended PTO shaft Saturday morning and got the tiller all hooked up and working great. I tilled about a half acre and today Gay and William sowed the wildflower seed.

I don't think Gay ever thought she'd be wearing a baseball cap with a tractor logo on it...but here's proof for the world to see. If only her fellow fashion majors from college could see her now!

There was much debate after Gay had finished sowing the seed and I arrived with the tractor to drive over the field and compress the seed into the soil. She disputed that this was needed, and even thought it would be harmful. But everything that I have read about planting a wildflower meadow says that compressing the seed into the ground to ensure "good soil contact" is THE most important step in ensuring good germination. In my research I found 3 suggested techiniques...using a lawn roller, plopping down a 4X8 sheet of plywood and then jumping on it (the neighbors woulda really thought I'd lost it), or driving the tractor back over the field. As I started the latter process, Gay headed back to the house shaking her head...still not sold on the concept. So if the seed doesn't germinate, I guess it'll be my fault.

Right now I think it's a race between the seeds and the weeds. We'll see which takes off first. We're supposed to get some rain tomorrow night, so that should help.

Meanwhile, I spent the rest of the weekend trying to get caught up on the grass cutting and getting a nice start on my farmer's tan. If we're going to make any progress on the house this summer I'm going to have to figure out a way to get the grass cutting done during the week so that it doesn't take up the whole weekend. Otherwise, this will be a pretty boring summer of journal entries. "Cut grass." "Cut grass." "Cut grass...." -- Bill

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