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 30, 2005

Thinking Out Loud

Suddenly, Fall is here. A mixed blessing to be sure. No more sweat drenched days in sweltering heat, but the end of the outdoor work season is near.

I haven't been up to the Queen since this Monday. I'm quite curious to see what Tony's finished this week. If I were a gambling man, I'd put money on him having finished the siding & trim. He's probably started working on the main entry hall.

My wife is working Saturday, so it'll be me and an old friend of mine working on the Queen. He has volunteered to paint, so I'm going to put him to work on priming our new exterior siding. If the weather turns ugly, he's reluctantly agreed to strip wallpaper in the master bedroom. Poor bastard.

Our mason is going to start work on our fireplaces Saturday. He wasn't kidding about working us in. He's only going to be working weekends for us. He said that he'd get the fireplace foundation built up to floor level this weekend. Then it has to cure before he can continue working on it. I believe the fireboxes will go in next, and then onward and upward until he's finished.

Sunday, my electrical guru will be making an appearance with his lovely assistant. Hopefully, a few more breakers will come online by the end of the weekend.

I'm not too sure what I'll be working on. I have a whole list of odds and ends that need attention. Window weights, window glazing, a lone storm window, wood floors, demolition, hauling trash, paint scraping, et cetera.

What I'd love to do is get the whole street facing side of the Queen scraped and primed. Really, there are more important things to do. Why do it then? Because it will be a tangible sign of progress visible at an altitude of 2000 feet. Weird, right? But, there is really reason for this.

Our financier is also a licensed single-engine pilot with his very own two-seater, flying deathtrap. Weather permitting, he flies over the Queen every Saturday and Sunday. He may fly over during the week, but, since I work in Little Rock, I wouldn't know.

When we went to him for more money a few weeks ago, he asked where all the money he'd been giving us had gone. "I fly over all the time, no one has been up there for weeks. What the fuck have you been doing!?"

My wife replied, "We took a weekend off to work on our other house. We needed to clean it up and do some maintenance so we can sell it."

He grunted. Then, "Do you know how horrible it looks? I can't tell that you've done anything with it."

"Have you seen the kitchen?"


My wife asked, "Have you even gone in the house?"

"No. No fucking way am I going into the shit hole. Two thousand feet is as close as I want to come to that mess."

In case you haven't already guess, he's pretty torqued up about the Queen. He even flew over the morning hurricane Rita's remains blew through. Personally, I thought he was nuts as I watched his little blue & white plane bobbing through the low clouds and wind.
This whole experience is becoming more and more like a bad, made-for-TV movie. Monty Python meets the Money Pit maybe. It just struck me how odd it all is. I have never talked to anyone that has had their financier stalk them by airplane. A lot of the day to day stuff with the Queen is your typical home renovation fare. In hind sight, a lot of it isn't. I wish I'd started this blog a couple of years ago, there is a lot of bizarre back material that hasn't made it into a post. There is just too much of it.


Blogger Greg said...

That is very strange. Does he really talk to you and your wife like that? I hate to say it, but for a brief moment, the thought I had was, "Maybe he'll crash his plane while making his aerial inspection". Missing the house, of course.

5:38 PM  
Blogger allison said...

Boy, that is rough to have to worry about planes circling overhead when there are so many house projects to finish! How did all the painting turn out, anyway? We're working on the front porch of an old four-square and have given up on the possibility of painting this year. (Sigh of relief, although I do like to paint). We're in the Midwest, where winter is quickly approaching. The house is not anywhere near as ornate and compelling as a Queen Anne, but it can drain the wallet just as quickly. Post some new pictures so we can see the progress.

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12:07 PM  

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