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 7, 2000

Spent the day at Enon Hall today as the temperature soared into the mid-90s. Removed more asbestos shingles from the front of the house. This time I decided to leave the tarpaper in place to provide some minimal protection from the elements until we are ready to go back and caulk in the old clapboards. Looking at the tarpaper (which just happened to fall in the line with the roofline of the 18th century portion of the house) made us wonder in maybe bringing roofing material (cedar shakes?) down to this point on the 1850s addition might help tie the two together better. Something to think about.

Spent the afternoon cooling off in the creek. -- Bill

May 13, 2000

Auctioneers are busy moving out the last of the Hayden's things and we expect to have full access to the house by the end of May. And if anybody doubts our decision to tear down the shed additions on the back of the house, here's a peak inside them.

Spent today cleaning up the graveyard. -- Bill

May 21, 2000

Weather was cool today...perfect for working. Since the rear additions are finally empty of contents, today I tackled preparing them for demolition. I removed the asbestos shingles on the old kitchen addition and stripped off the composite board covering up the old screened porch. The screen was even still in place. The posts of the screened porch are salvageable, as is the beaded board ceiling, but everything else is badly rotted.

Encountered several bee nests today. I'm sure there will be more. Also, under the kitchen addition I found parts of an antique door assembled with wooden pegs. -- Bill

May 25, 2000

This weekend will be our first weekend at Enon Hall with a housekey and total access! Stay tuned for interior pictures! -- Bill

May 27 - 29, 2000

For the first time in many years a cool breeze was able to wash through the center hall at Enon Hall this weekend as we finally gained full access to the inside of the house...ten months to the day since we bought the place. The first thing we did was force open these doors that had been boarded shut for at least 15 years! We spent all Memorial Day weekend at the house, including our first nights there...sleeping on folding cots in the parlor.

Saturday morning we explored every square inch of the house and took pictures from every angle. I have posted some of these interior photos in the gallery.

The inside of the house really is in remarkable shape for its age. However, this is largely attributable to previous renovations by the Haydens that sadly, replaced many original materials. For instance, about 70% of the walls in the 18th century portion of the house have been replaced with drywall. Fortunately, most of the plaster remains in the 19th century addition. I spent a great deal of time this weekend mulling over the floorboards downstairs in the original portion of the house and suspect that these too have been replaced...although I would be happy to be proven wrong on this. The floorboards are definitely very old wood, and they are nailed with old nails...but they are still suspicious to me. The board widths seem too consistent for the period and the board edges seem too crisp. The floorboards on the stairs, on the other hand, leave no doubt as to their age. On one step the tread is worn all the way back to the face of the riser.

William led the exploration, including the dark closet under the stairs.

The only sign that I could find of serious structural problems is in the library. In this room, the front wall of the house is separating from the side walls...with a crack that is probably about 5/8" wide at the bottom of the corner and gets more narrow as it goes up. Could this be indication of a rotted sill causing the exterior wall to roll forward on the foundation? This concerns me greatly, however, the truth is I expected to find much worse and widespread problems. The interior appears to simply be in need of extensive cosmetic attention.

There are still some Hayden belongings in the house. We spent Saturday morning consolidating these into the dining room so that they can easily be loaded out by the executor. Then we broom swept the 18th century portion upstairs and down, making a world of difference.

Sunday I stripped more asbestos shingles from the rear additions that we will be tearing down while Gay and William cleaned up the screened porch and wrestled with weeds to try to free a fig bush. Seemed like a lost cause to me, but Gay is committed to rescuing that poor fig bush.

Monday (Memorial Day) it rained all day so we spent our time inside scrubbing woodwork and the downstairs bathroom. This was made difficult by our temporary lack of running water (long story)...but we got great mileage out of 2 gallons of "store bought" water. We heated it on the stove to give us greater scrubbing power. By the time we were ready to leave we all agreed that we had definitely made a small but noticeable dent during our first exciting weekend in the house. -- Bill

A new view for us...from upstairs looking out to the cemetery and the dock beyond.