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, December 20, 2005

Living Room Floor Mystery

The Devil Queen’s previous owners did a number of strange, ugly, and unfortunate things to her. However, no matter how bad their taste was they always had a reason for what they did, until now. Perhaps this is an overstatement. I’m guessing there was a reason, but I can’t figure out what it is.

In the living room, there was what appeared to be a patch in the floor. It looked like someone had nailed a piece of tin (approximately 9x12 inches) to the floor. I’d assumed that it was there to plug a hole in the floor. While I was crawling around under the Queen working on the fireplace, I took a closer look. From the underside of the floor, there are no obvious holes. Perplexed, I went up into the house and took a closer look.

The tin patch was actually a very old piece of tarpaper (old enough that the carpet tacks had been laid over it) tacked down to the floor. I pulled it up only to find a piece of tin. It too was tacked to the floor though it was smaller in size, approximately 6x9 inches. I pulled it up and found nothing. No holes, no rot, no gouges, no nothing. It was just wood flooring. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. But, it is weird.

I keep thinking that I missed something. The lighting in that corner isn’t too good, maybe I’ll see something if I drag in the halogen light? I doubt it though.

There is another one just like it in the master bedroom too. Does anyone have a clue what these “patches” are?


Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

you can use roofing shingles to fix a slight dip in the subfloor before you install hardwood. It's what I did in mine (but only after I tried to ignore it and ended up ripping out the floor I just put down then trying the shingles and re-laying it). That's the only thing that comes to mind. No Ideas about the tin (are you sure there wasn't a floor register there or something?)

8:46 AM  
Blogger StuccoHouse said...

Lol....I think all of us should make some random meaningless change to our house....just to drive future owners crazy. I have one closet that has brown wrapping paper type stuff on the walls under the paint. I thought maybe it was to repair plaster, except the plaster underneath is in perfect condition. I try not to let it bug me, but I'd sure like to know what the heck it was there for.....

9:38 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

I can tell you what they are for! We have them too! They are to even out the floor where there are slight impressions. You may even find some paper mache putty in the cracks between floor boards. Why was the floor leveled this way? Ahhh, thats the little thing people don't know. Back in the days of yore, before vinyl tile or laminate flooring, there was rolled linoleum that would crack if it was laid on an uneven surface. Tarpaper cuts down on the squeaking of floorboards but wouldn't remove a depression in the wood. They used old tin cans for that. We have tin patches on a plaster wall to our basement and I have removed several from the floors that had linoleum sheets.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Tony Maro said...

All those theories were nice, but the real reason was to keep the aliens from beaming messages to their heads.

Seriously though, the "brown wrapping paper" mentioned by stuccohouse was likely contact paper? I had an entire room wrapped in contact paper (and 5 or more layers of wallpaper and paint) that I just finished redoing...

See the finished product with before pics

11:51 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thank you Gary for that cool bit of info. You have brought meaning and order to my sad little universe.

Tony, the bedroom looks great. I have three bedrooms that need work. Please feel free to come over when you have a chance.

8:45 AM  

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