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.

September 2, 2000

Today we turned our attention to the chicken coop. The Hayden's executors left boxes, trash, and belongings literally chest deep the entire length of the building. We worked today from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. solid and filled Mark Dameron's dump truck to the top...and we're only half way through cleaning out the mess. Unless it rains, we'll be back on this project again on Monday (Labor Day).

Tonight we're having thunderstorms...again! In fact the humidity is so high from the non-stop rain that we are forgoing the screened porch for sleeping and have moved camp to the dining room, surrounded by our tools. Good night! -- Bill

September 3, 2000

More thunderstorms today meant a family get-together at Enon Hall had to be cancelled. Instead, we found some indoor projects suitable for a hot, rainy, steamy day. Gay inspected the upstairs toilet to see if it could be saved.

Months ago we had lifted the lid, seen the nasty, rusty bowl, and promptly declared it to be off limits. Turns out, it cleaned up fine. However, once she turned the water on, the tank began a slow drip onto the floor. All of the guts need to be replaced. Because this is a rear discharge toilet the entire tank had to be removed in order to get to the fittings. We'll get new parts in Richmond and have it in working order next weekend.

My rainy day job was to begin scraping the ceiling in one of the upstairs bedrooms. The plaster is in good shape, but had been covered with texture paint that is now peeling badly. This is one of those self-motivating jobs. Just when you've lost all patience with the tedious scraping of tiny paint chips a large section of paint will scrape away in one giant flake. It's the thrill of those big flakes that keeps me going! Another bonus to this job...the ceiling up there is low enough to scrape easily without a ladder! -- Bill

September 4, 2000 (Labor Day)

Amazingly, it didn't rain today so we were able to fill up the dump truck with another load of trash from the chicken coop. I never thought I would live to see this building cleaned out...but it actually is! -- Bill

September 9, 2000

Today the weather was gorgeous so we took advantage of the opportunity to just play. Made a quick attempt to get the upstairs toilet reassembled, but of course we were missing critical parts that are designed to keep more water in the tank than on the floor. Maybe next weekend.

The image below shows a our progress to date on the back of the house. -- Bill

September 12, 2000

Met Fred Ecker at Enon Hall today. Fred is President of Tidewater Preservation, Inc. based in Fredericksburg. They come highly recommended for old house restoration and have worked on projects like Virginia's Governor's Mansion and Stratford Hall.

He will be giving us pricing on waterproofing the foundation as well as some structural work down there. -- Bill

September 16, 2000

Again, more play than work today. Took measurements around the entire house so that I can put together a working floorplan. -- Bill

September 23, 2000

Nice article in the Richmond Times Dispatch today about Enon Hall. Click here to check out the online version. (Thanks Janet and Cindy!) -- Bill

September 24, 2000

For the benefit of our friend Karen who saw the toilet pictures earlier this month and pronounced it unworthy of saving...here is the "after" picture with a clean bowl that would make even John Cage proud.

Today we removed a closet in the law office and exposed the exterior door that used to be the entrance to this second floor room. We removed the old mantel for stripping.

Curiosity prompted us to pry open this door which had been nailed shut and padlocked for probably 70 years and sided over on the outside. What would we find when we opened the door?

No surprises, but William thinks this is the perfect place to hang a cut-out skeleton. (Halloween's coming, you know!)

William's "pet for the day."

Heard from lots of great folks in response to the newspaper story, including the McKesson's who lived at Enon Hall from 1962 until 1965! -- Bill