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!

Friday, September 16, 2005


Yesterday was not a pleasant day for us. Our financier had a contractor friend come out to give a second opinion on finishing the Queen yesterday. He thinks that our current estimate for completing the Queen is too low by 45%. He thought that we'd underestimated our painting costs (for the paint itself, we're providing all the labor), but over all said that we had good quotes for the siding, fireplace, rocking-in the crawlspace, and heating-cooling systems. Having said that, I can't figure out where he thinks we're budgeting too little. The paint can't account for a 45% difference. Since I wasn't there, I didn't get to ask. I'd love to know.

I think that we're going to get our original amount from our financier. He is not happy, at all. This is definitely our last draw of cash. Period. If the contractor is right and we're short, we are shit out of luck.

It's bad enough that we may have screwed ourselves on this deal, but I hate to think that we may be taking other folks down with us. It definitely provides a lot of very desperate motivation.

In the tradition of the glorious (defunct) British Empire, we'll muddle through.

On the upside, the weather is going to be beautiful this weekend.


Blogger Scout said...

I rooting for your getting the finances straightened out. I am stuck in financial neverland, with one house for sale (that I'd renovated) and then moved into this old house. Until the other house sells, no money to do anything to this one (with original tin roof leaking, ditto for porch room and 4 fireplaces). However, the weather here is great too - and the bills keep rolling in. Sending hope, Jane

10:22 AM  
Blogger (Jim &) Brandy Brow said...

Ouch. Tough blow. And yeah, how DOES paint acount for 45% too low? Must be that thousand-dollar-per-can changing color glitter paint we're beginning to see on cars.

Brandy of The Building Brows

5:25 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

A couple of things to consider if money is an issue. Why put siding on? If you paint one side per year for the next 4 years yo will save a small fortune. What are you doing to the fireplace? If you are lining it or putting in firebrick, then you can do that yourself and save money. As for painting rooms, you can do that any time. Painted rooms don't make a place livable. You need running water and heat to survive there. You really need to set a 5 year goal for where you want to be with life as a whole. As for the house, do what needs done to move into the place, then tackle it one or two rooms at a time. It will be done before you know it. It is unfortunate that we live in a culture that says you can have it all NOW if you have enough money. Trust me, you will have greater satisfaction if you do the work yourself. Then you can say "I have what I have because I do what I do."

Reminds me of that old song titled "Oo la la" by Rod Stewart and the Faces "I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger...."

Hmmm, Rod and the Faces, that was a lifetime ago.

9:18 PM  
Blogger lynette said...

In my limited experience with contracters, there can be wildly differing quotes - and just as the lowest doesn't usually reflect reality, nor does the highest especially if you do a lot of it yourself & improvise. Fingers crossed things work out...

7:23 AM  

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