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!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What Puts a Master in the Bedroom?

Monday's post received the following comment from Carol. Carol said:

"My comment was: is the'master' bedroom really a master bedroom or just the largest bedroom in the house or just the one you choose to sleep in? The whole concept of 'master bedroom' seems so new house people- an invention contrived in the 1970's maybe. Just curious."

First, thank you for the question. To be honest, I never really gave much thought to what makes a bedroom a master bedroom. Carol appears to be right in thinking that the master bedroom is a fairly modern feature in American homes. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to date when the modern master bedroom first emerged.

For an interesting and brief history of the American bedroom, check this article by Christine Vidal from the University of Buffalo Reporter.

According to Wikipedia, a master bedroom is a bedroom with an attached bathroom where the parents sleep in a family home. This matches with the terminology we used when I worked in real estate appraisals.

I remember taking an appraisal class where the instructor went into some detail regarding the term "master bedroom." He had appraised a home that was owned by a lesbian couple. When they received the appraisal they were furious that he had labeled their bedroom as the "master bedroom" because, "there was no master in their relationship!" They demanded that he change the appraisal to which he refused. He did however attach a lengthy addendum explaining that "master bedroom" was a term of convenience denoting a bedroom with an attached bath typically used by the head(s) of the house hold and not a misogynistic, patriarchal term used reinforce a repressive social order.

I'm not sure that the term is really of much descriptive value anymore in regard to attached bathrooms. Most new higher end homes have bathrooms attached to every bedroom. Whereas having one or two bathrooms in a three or four bedroom house was typical 30 years ago, a bathroom for each bedroom is becoming typical.

In the case of the Devil Queen, the master bedroom is a master bedroom because:

1) It's the only bedroom in the house with an attached bath.
2) It is the bedroom that my wife and I (as head of household) claim as our own.

Carol, I hope that this satisfies your curiosity.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Carol said...

John:

Thank you-I thought that the attached bath is what made the difference. How unusual to have such a (relatively small) old house that has a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom! Most of the small houses I am familiar with have only a small hall bath that all the bedrooms share, yet these bungalow people still insist they have a "master" bedroom (and I try to explain my thoughts on subject, which is basically what you said, and I get the look like I am the one who is crazy). The one vintage house I DO know of with the foresight to build an original true master bedroom is a grand 1871 Chicago Italiante.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

We have a "master" bedroom, too. It's the biggest bedroom and also has a bathroom attached. Another bathroom is located between two bedrooms, but that's not the same.

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