The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

My Photo
Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

James and James

If you take I-40 west from Atkins, you'll reach Clarksville in about 45 minutes. My wife and I go there occasionally, mostly for peaches in the summer. Main Street (aka Highway 64) snakes through Clarksville east to west. Not too far west from the county court house, Main Street is bracketed by two large Victorian houses. The one on the northside of Main is Clarksville's Century 21 office. The one on the southside is blue and a private residence the last I saw it. They both have the distinction of being May Houses. They are called May Houses in honor of their architect, one Mr. May, that designed four or five grand Victorian in the Clarksville area.

The Blue May House has a past similar to the Queen. Both were kept in a single family until recently, and both fell into disrepair and were deserted in the last 10-15 years. My wife and I had considered buying it several years ago. We took a tour of it, but, being just out of college, we couldn't afford its price of $90,000. A woman from Texas bought it as a side project. She wanted to restore it to its original appearance. What she planned to do with it after that, I do not know.

On a trip to Clarksville a year or so after she purchased it, we noticed that a lot of work was being done on it. A huge dumpster was sitting in the front yard and tools and lumber were scattered about. My wife wanted to take a look so we walked in and started looking for the workers. There were only two men working on the May House, James and James. One James was bearded, long haired, very quiet, and thin. The other James was a big, talkative Texan with short curly hair. They let us take a look around the house though they seemed perplexed by us. My wife and I are both baby-faced. Though in our mid-20's we look more like 14 year olds. If two 14 year olds showed up at my house and wanted to talk about historic home restoration, I suppose I'd give them an odd look too.

James and James had done beautiful work on the house. After inspecting it from top to bottom, we asked them, "Are you doing anything in August?" They seemed even move surprised by this, "Why?" Then we told them about the Queen and how we needed the roof removed and rebuilt. Texas James gave us their card and told us that he'd come down to give us a quote on it.

My wife dubbed them Talking James and Non-talking James. She never called them this to their face though. They gave us an excellent quote and we hired them.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter
Website Counter