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.

May 6, 2001

Replaced a rotten 6"X6" post supporting one corner of the car port. It was a quick job with the help of my brother. We raised the roof about 1/2" and braced it, removed the old post (feeling so confident that we didn't bother moving the car out from under the car port), put the new post in place, lowered the roof back in place, and screwed the post to the beam. Unlike the old post that rotted from the bottom, the new post sits on a metal base, keeping it an inch above the concrete.

William and his cousins Matthew and Tommy enjoyed a "dig" in the back yard, very close to where we dug last fall. This time we struck gold and unearthed the end of the foundation of the old addition that was added to the back of the house around 1890 and torn down sometime in the late 1920s or '30s.

Bill & William dig

The cousins dig

The addition can be seen in the turn of the century photo of Enon Hall below.

Enon Hall - Turn of the century

If we have uncovered the full width of the foundation, it was only 9 feet wide. We'll have to do some more digging to see what else we unearth. In addition to the foundation, the boys found a 19th century clay marble!

Also did some measuring and planning in preparation for rebuilding the rear porch. Hopefully this project will begin later this month. -- Bill

May 12-13, 2001

Busy weekend.

On Saturday, my brother and I tore down the concrete block chimney by the old back porch to make way for the construction of a new porch floor. The top three-quarters of the chimney came down easily with just a rope tied high and the two of us pulling. Then I easily broke up the rest with a sledge hammer.

Tearing the chimney down

Once the chimney was down, we started framing the new porch floor with salt-treated lumber. Used joist hangers for the first time. Once we got the hang of them they really sped the job and made nailing easier.

Porch framing

Gay, once again, tried to free her fig bush from a tangle of Virginia Creeper.

And the hot water stinks again. We just had the anode rode replaced in the water heater about a month ago so I'm not sure if it's that or something else. Nasty sulfur odor. -- Bill

May 15, 2001

In response to several e-mail inquiries...yes, the kitchen floor is wearing quite nicely so far! And we haven't been treating it lightly either. It got lots of dirty boot traffic this past weekend and took the abuse just fine. (Knock on wood!) -- Bill

May 20, 2001

Priming porch boards

Spent the day priming the bottoms, sides, and ends of about 80 tongue and groove floorboards for the porch. Slow, boring work; but hopefully it will help to deter rot for years to come. -- Bill

May 28, 2001

Spent a long weekend at Enon Hall trying to work on the porch between torrential rain showers. On Friday my brother and I used a floor nailer to install the tongue and groove pine flooring. Here's a tip. It's easy to not notice that the nailer has run out of nails. Even when empty, it leaves a divit in the tongue that looks like a nicely sunk nail head. Turns out we missed several boards and when a downpour came that night...well, the picture below shows the unpleasant surprise I found Saturday morning.

Colonial parade

Continued to pour all Saturday. Was able to replace the buckled boards on Sunday, install the facia, and get everything primed. At 2:30 the next morning I was up throwing drop clothes over everything as yet another thunderstorm rolled through.

Colonial parade

Add to all that a bashed thumb and a dislocated shoulder (don't ask) and it was just one of those weekends. Spent Memorial Day recovering, licking my wounds and enjoying family at Enon Hall. And that's what this hard work is really all about anyway.

Colonial parade

William, his cousins, and Lucy marching down the dirt road to Enon Hall in a special Colonial Memorial Day parade. -- Bill

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