Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This Old House Part I

We are very blessed to live in an Old House. It was built in the 1870's and is located on a corner of my grandmother's farm. The property has been in our family almost continuously since the original homestead documents were issued by then Secretary of State James Monroe in 1815. It is an Italianate style 2-story home and the brick was made from the Indiana clay beneath the fields that surround the house.

As a kid, it was always "the rent house" that my grandparent's owned. At that time, it was inhabited by the Welch family. Sometime in the early 50's Bud Welch struck a deal with my grandfather, paying $50 a month in rent. And that was what the rent was for some 30 years. In the 80's the Welch's moved into town and the house was rented off and on to different folks, but it gradually began to fall into disrepair.

In the late 90's our family began to plan to move from where we then lived, in the Dallas, Texas area. My parent's moved up here first in 1997 and lived in this house for the first year or so. They supervised a big remodelling project that involved tearing down an old wooden summer kitchen and storage shed, and adding on a nice 2-car garage, a spacious family room area, and a new kitchen. Later, new windows would be added all around, and the upstairs would be completely remodeled.

For several reasons, though, the design of the Old House did not really suit my parents lifestyle. So in 1998, when my family moved here, it was decided and arranged that we would move in here. Ultimately, upon inheriting the adjacent farm that had belonged to my great-aunt, my parents decided to build their own house on the opposite corner of the family property.

Construction work currently being done here is a big painting project, designed by my wife and made possible by my grandmother. It is being done by Mangas Construction, one of the very finest construction contracting companies in eastern Indiana, owned and operated by a distant relative, Bill Pearson. These guys were really patient with us as Nancy experimented with both color and design to get the look right. It is a difficult job, really. Much of the wood guttering, jambs, and trim needed to be repaired, caulked, replaced, etc. before it could even be primed. And, like many houses of this era, it is extremely tall, with lots of detail work in very hard to reach places.

More pics and info later.

Listening: The Other Side of Something by Sara Groves. An exceptional songwriter and brilliant lyricist, this album has one of the most transcendantly beautiful performances of the classic hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" ever done. This album was produced by Nate Sabin and Charlie Peacock.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I love old houses. I grew up in one -- the architecture, and the woodwork inside, fascinates me.