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!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Good Old Days

For those of you who haven't heard, some American scientists have raised the 1918 Spanish Flu Virus from the dead. It was pretty clever how they went about doing it, but you have to wonder if it is something that ought to have been left alone.

My wife and I (the freaks that we are) have read a good bit about the 1918 pandemic. What is interesting about this pandemic is that, even though it killed tens of millions (some say hundreds of millions) people world wide, there are very few written accounts of it from that time. The folks that live in our old homes (those built before 1918 of course) weathered this storm, or, perhaps, they didn't. I don't know if any of the Boswells caught the flu, but I know none of them died of it. I'd be curious to know if any of you have come across references to the flu in your house or genealogical research.

Something else odd about this disease, it mostly killed young adults (18-35). Normally, the very young and the very old make up the majority of fatalities in flu out breaks. Not in 1918. It also struck extremely fast. People felt fine in the morning, left for work, and fell ill and died before they arrived at their desk.

For any of you with a morbid curiosity, I'd recommend the following books:

Alfred W. Crosby's America's Forgotten Pandemic : The Influenza of 1918. In telling the story of the flu, he also gives an interesting account of the early days of modern medicine.

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History by John M. Barry.

Flu : The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic by Gina Kolota.

Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Kathrine Anne Porter is the only definitive account of the pandemic in English. It is an autobiographical account of her own experiences during the pandemic. She survived a bout of the flu.

Robert Graves makes a couple of references to the flu in his autobiography, Good-bye to All That. Graves and his family all contracted the disease. All of them survived except his mother-in-law.

Thomas Wolfe mentions the flu in his novel Look Homeward, Angel. The novel is largely autobiographical and recounts his older brother's death from the flu.

And, if you are looking for something to creep you out for Halloween, read the first 100 some odd pages of Stephen King's book The Stand. The main premise for the book is a government engineered super-flu virus is accidentally released killing 98% of the worlds population. The first 100 pages or so are about the pandemic. The rest is about a mythical struggle good and evil, rebuilding the world, etc. In my opinion, the rest of the book (1200+ pages) isn't worth the effort. Borrow it or buy it used if you're interested.


Blogger Kristin said...

You should read Wickett's Remedy also. It's a new book that just came out. Fiction, set in the 1918 influenza epidemic. It was pretty good.

11:34 AM  
Blogger jm@houseinprogress said...

When I was researching the "events of the day" around the time our house first stood, I ran across some information on the Spanish Flu. In Chicago, many people built sleeping porches on their houses (porches screened in on 3 sides) for their children to sleep in at night as a way to "ward off the flu." Another way that hygiene and disease (or the perceptions about them) influence architecture and design!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

This sort of sent chills up my spine. The trail of the Petch family in Eureka ends abruptly in 1919. I know Thomas Petch, the father, went to Santa Rosa in 1910, but the Phyllis, the mother, and the 3 boys stayed in Eureka. The oldest son, Thomas Jr. was a doctor, so no doubt he came in close contact with sick patients. It is conceivable that he spread it to the family and they died off quickly. That would explain a lot. I've been meaning to check death records down at the college. This has renewed my interest.

Another intersting thing about the pandemic is that it only last 6 to 9 months. It went around the world like a wild fire and burned itself out quickly. Such is the case with diseases that kill quickly. The hosts don’t last long enough to infect large numbers of people. You get it. You get sick. And you die. If you didn’t die so quickly you would have the chance to infect a lot more people.

3:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter
Website Counter