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 7, 2004

After his archaeological work this summer, Grant Quertermous did the preliminary paperwork to submit Enon Hall to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. We received a letter yesterday informing us that we've passed the first stage of the process, with the National Register Evaluation Team recommending Enon Hall to the State Review Board for consideration. If the State Review Board agrees at their next meeting on December 1st, then we will be cleared to submit the full application.

Addition of Enon Hall to these lists would mean that we could then apply for tax credits for subsequent restoration work. We have a whole list of projects waiting in the wings pending the outcome of this process, including joist work under the gambrel portion of the house, chimney work, and the restoration of the kitchen quarters.

With the help of numerous E-mailers, we decided that the best course of action for the old range was to just replace it. Parts were adding up to $120 and then we still weren't sure that it was going to be 100% functional and get us through until the new kitchen is completed. In addition to the oven problems, the stove burners have been problematic.

So we hunted down the cheapest range we could find, figuring it only needs to serve us for 10 months or so. We got a "Roper" range. I'd never heard of the brand, but it's made by Whirlpool and was only $229 at Lowe's. If we can turn around and sell it in a year for $100 I'll be perfectly happy.

We had to do a little painting once we pulled out the old range, but now we're all set for Thanksgiving!

Today we went to Pamplin Historical Park to see a big event that traced the American military through all of the wars, from the Revolution to modern day. It was pretty cool. Outside one of the Vietnam era tents, William did his best John Kerry imitation.

While there, we visited the Banks House which is owned by Pamplin, but a little way up the road from the park. This is the site of the slave quarters pictured in the restoration photo below.

We saw this photo during our last visit to Pamplin in March but didn't know where the actual building was. Below is the finished building today.

Looking underneath, we could see that all of the sills and floor timbers had been replaced.

The Banks House also gave us this simple idea for hiding heat pump units.

And these are the type of simple steps that I think would be appropriate for the front and back doors of the 18th century portion of Enon Hall. -- Bill

November 12, 2004

Today we took William to check out a school in the area and then met a builder at Enon Hall. The builder asked for 4 weeks to get back with us with some pricing. Meanwhile, we have contracted to have 22 pine trees removed that stand in the way of the addition, as well as a big dead Sycamore. -- Bill

November 22, 2004

This has been the year of broken stuff. Returning from Enon Hall last night, the transmission in Gay's van (92,000 miles) decided it had had enough of these commutes, leaving us stranded on the side of the highway awaiting rescue. Meanwhile, the wiper motor on my car had croaked earlier in the week and I hadn't yet gotten it in for service. So at the moment we're down to one vehicle. Unless it rains. Then we're just doomed. Maybe a rental is in order for this week.

As weather allows, I have been plugging away at painting our house in Richmond. I spent a fair amount of time last week working on the wrap around porch. In the midst of this tediously slow painting I vowed that we will never, ever put gingerbread on Enon Hall!

I spent yesterday giving the grass at Enon Hall the last cut of the year. (The previous "last cut of the year" turned out to not really be the "last cut of the year.") I still need to bush hog the wild flowers that have now all died and look awful.

We're looking forward to Thanksgiving at Enon Hall. Our last Thanksgiving cooking in the old kitchen! -- Bill

November 26, 2004

We had another wonderful family Thanksgiving at Enon Hall this year with 13 crowded around the table. As usual Gay and her mom outdid themselves in the kitchen, and everybody else brought great things to add to the feast.

This photo was taken right before everybody sat down. That's a dart game going on in the background. (Doesn't everybody have a dartboard hanging on the door to their tool closet in the dining room...and shutters awaiting installation leaning against the wall?) The Bible is at William's place, where he treated us to another of his lengthy Thanksgiving blessings this year, as well as a few chosen proverbs. We all prayed the food would still be warm when he was done.

William took the photo above early Thanksgiving morning (before I got up). Eerie sky. But the day turned out to be beautiful. The kids played tag and shot BB guns. And later in the evening we built a fire in the backyard while they played football. William was wiped out and in bed by 7:00! A little bit of Tryptophan, plus a whole lot of fresh air.

I love the things that William is able to do for fun at Enon Hall. Today he and a brother and sister from up the creek drove all around on tractors, having a ball.

Gay and her mom made this beautiful wreath today for our front door...all from greens cut around the yard.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. -- Bill

November 29, 2004

Today's been a research day. I'm investigating flooring options for the addition that will blend in with the heart pine floors in the old part of the house. Looking for salvaged or reclaimed heart pine that won't break the bank.

I have requested information and pricing from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, J. L. Powell & Co., Museum Resources, and some others. -- Bill

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