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.

November 4, 2001

We were surprised by an unseasonably warm weekend and took the opportunity to work outdoors, mainly on the back porch. Gay and I scraped the remaining columns. Using a combination of putty knife, heat gun, and sander the columns were soon ready for priming.

I also replaced the rotten fascia boards on both ends of the porch; pulling back the edge of the standing seam porch roof to get to the boards. Scraped, caulked, and primed everything.

Later, while I painted the posts, Gay cleaned the rough cut 19th century cedar clapboards under the porch. Dirty work! The old asbestos shingles that used to cover these clapboards had trapped in years of dirt. The dust kept flying in her eyes, so she had to add goggles to her ensemble.

Even though the sun was setting fast, I couldn't resist slapping some paint on a handful of the clapboards just to catch a vision for what it will look like painted. Boy, looks clean!

In the photo above you can see our funky old screen door...designed with built in angles at the top and bottom of the screen. Don't know how old it is, but I guess it was just done this way for fun. It was sure disconcerting the first time we saw it. Made it look like the door was way out of plumb!

Thanks to William for all of the great photos! He's now taking most of the photos that you see on this website. -- Bill

November 11, 2001

Scraped, primed, and painted more siding within the porch and on the second floor. Replaced a broken clapboard over the back door.

Had a nice visit from the McKessons who lived at Enon Hall from 1962 to 1965. They have been kind enough in the past to share their photos and memories via email and this Sunday stopped by to see our progress in person. As we walked through the house we learned that they used our kitchen as a playroom and our dining room as a den. It seems that our library and the corresponding small bedroom upstairs were different then...somehow chopped up with different door placements. They weren't exactly able to put their fingers on the differences. In addition, when the McKessons lived at Enon Hall there was an opening between our present library and the kitchen addition that I tore down last year. This tells me that Mr. Hayden probably also intended to tear down that addition, or else he wouldn't have replaced that opening with an exterior window. Previously I had just assumed that that window had been left in place when the addition was built in the 1950s.

After their visit, Phyllis McKesson emailed, "Keep up the good work. All I can say is, I'm glad it's you and not me. It is quite an undertaking. I think what would bother me the most is I am a 'let's do it and do it now' person. You all are doing it the right way - taking your time and enjoying it." Actually, I am very much a "get it done" kinda guy. When we move, all the pictures are hung before we can go to bed, etc. But Enon Hall has taught me patience. That progress can be almost as satisfying as completion. And that everything doesn't have to be perfect all the time. I'm not sure these lessons have carried over into the rest of my life, but when we're working on Enon Hall it's the only way to stay sane!

Here's a view we haven't shared before...from the front of our property looking out over a portion of the 400 acres of fields that used to make up Enon Hall. The fields are planted with grass for the winter and right now it's bright green against the fall tree colors. This photo doesn't do the colors justice. -- Bill

November 24, 2001

Scraped and primed a large section of circa 1850 cedar clapboards on the front of the house. Even though this is the north face of the house, the boards are all in excellent condition. We removed the asbestos shingles from this part of the house over a year and a half ago, but had since been distracted by other projects.

Gay went around and pulled down all of the storm windows for the winter. Can't stand those things...but we might as well be using the ones that I haven't removed yet. Would eventually like to have wood storms made. -- BIll

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