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.

October 7, 2001

Been very busy at work lately but did manage to get some work time at Enon Hall today. We cleared more grapevines (some 3-1/2 inches in diameter) and scrub trees from the creek bank around three massive cedars. (Interestingly, if you look at the journal entries for October 1999 and October 2000...that's the same thing we were doing then too!) Our hope is to be able to plant more sea grass along the bank where we have cleared. -- Bill

October 21, 2001

I spent several hours salvaging what I could from 19th century clapboards that I had removed during my residing work this summer. The clapboards had been stacked up on sawhorses in the back yard for several months waiting for me to pull nails and cut them down to pieces that could be reused.

I put several pieces of the salvaged clapboards to work right away, replacing some siding that had been cut into by previous owners...I assume to run electrical.

With these holes closed, now the cabinet doors on the other side of the wall won't blow open anymore when the wind blows!

Gay used the heat gun to strip paint off of another porch column.

We continue to try to lessen our mouse population in the house. But not with much success. William and I caught a mouse in the kitchen Saturday night. William nicknamed him "Stupid Little" since he was so easy to catch.

Bad thing about catching a live mouse is that you can't just kill it. (At least we couldn't!) So we took this quick photo and then set him loose in the yard. I'm sure he was back in the house before the hour was up. Oh well. -- Bill

October 28, 2001

I couldn't shake the question of a reader last week who asked if we had ever used a metal detector at Enon Hall. Actually, we had talked about it, but had been resistant to forking over the cash. But Saturday we hit the Radio Shack and soon had dozens of plugs dug up around the yard. Findings: 1934 Virginia license plate, small painted metal locket, large strap hinge, half of an H-L hinge, lots of cut nails, and various pieces of rusty steel...probably from old farm equipment. Was a lot of fun. We'll keep you posted on any future findings!

We're at a bit of a crossroads in our work on the house. The weather is getting colder so we're looking inside for our next project...yet they all loom large and intimidating. I am not anxious to take on any projects in the original portion of the house until we address some significant structural issues in the cellar...hopefully in the spring. (One old floor joist is so far gone that it sags a full inch below the floor boards and you can wiggle the joist with your hands.)

So this weekend we started eyeing the law office (1880s) upstairs. This is the huge room with an entire ceiling of beaded board and beaded board wainscotting. I had done some experiments last winter using the heat gun to strip the paint off of the wood. It worked fairly well, but it would take years to strip the entire room. The paint on the ceiling has blistered ever so slightly, leaving the surface pretty rough to the touch. This all needs to be sanded down before painting. A couple months ago I restored one of the windows in this room. The other three are in dire need of attention as well. This room has the best views in the house, being up high you see the creek out the back and acres of fields out the front. So I guess we have our winter project.

Of course, if we could just find some real loot with that metal detector, we could hire somebody to come strip the beaded board... -- Bill

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