The Devil Queen

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

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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!

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Big Dig

Last week our bulldozer guy started excavating out in front of the Queen. We’re hoping to permanently drain the seasonal lake that forms under the front porch after a good rain.

So far, so good. I wish I had photos to show, but I forgot to take any the last time I was there. The main excavation seems to be complete. All that remains is digging the trenches for the French drains. That ought to get done this week. Then I get to lay the drains. Fortunately for us, my wife's parents donated some drain pipes they had left over from one of their home improvement projects. We still might need another 20-30 feet, but we won't know for sure until the digging is finished.

After the French drains, we need to landscape the Big Dig. The landscaping phase falls into two stages. One stage is building a dry-stacked, rock retaining wall to control erosion and to improve drainage. It will also be a lot nicer to look at than a muddy cut in the ground. The second stage is laying a brick patio that gently slopes away from the Queen towards a drainage ditch or French drain (we're still debating which). The bricks are all scavenged from the Queen's original foundation and chimney. We also have lots of leftover sand and gravel on-site from the foundations and utility lines, so we should have everything we need for this project.

If I can over come my guppy like memory, I'll take some pictures the next time I'm at the Queen. I can't really find the words to adequately explain this project. In the mean time, here is a crude sketch (not to scale) of what we're going for.


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