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!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More Photos From the Weekend

Kenny has started reinstalling and repairing the beadboard wainscotting in the main hall. That ugly, white return air vent should be coming out this week. It is all that is left of the aborted chip-board beast that was in our living room.

This is a picture of our mystery beam in between the living room and the dining room. At some point in the 1920's this beam was part of the Devil Queen's rear, exterior wall. They tore the wall out and built on the dining room and kitchen. Until last week, this beam was clad in a veneer of 1/4 inch drywall. We were scared to find out what was under this veneer, but it wasn't as bad as we feared.

The side facing the living room is clad with the original wall boards. It is a little rough, but not too bad. The side facing the dining room is all new wood (10-25 years old would be my guess). It looks solid, but it's ugly. The picture makes it look better than it really is. We're going to clad the beam in beadboard to make it look uniform and neat.

In case you're wondering, taking it out is not an option. If we took it out, the best we could hope for is that the ceilings would collapse. The worst case is a portion of the roof would come with it.

This is the wall between the dining room and the kitchen. We stripped off all the wall boards last sumer to move the doorway from the far left to the center of the wall. I put the kitchen side up months ago, and Kenney finally started on the dining room side. Unfortunately, we're running short on wood.

First, a couple of the original wall boards were used to patch the hall ceiling when I wasn't looking. Second, once you account for triming the boards to new lengths to accomodate the doorway, you end up with a lot of 1 foot long boards with no where to go. We have some old, painted beadboard that matches the wall so we'll probably use it to finish. We'd planned to Danish Oil the wall since it had never been painted. If we would still like to do this, we'll have to strip the last 1 1/2 to2 feet of the wall. Or, we have to stripe these boards and then paint the whole thing. We're not sure which we'll do. It depends on how bad the stripped wood looks I guess. If we decide to paint it, we'll either use a green or the same red as the living room. Yet another accent wall?

He is the back porch's recently enclosed eve. Just a little something to give it that finished look and to keep the birds and wasps out.


Blogger Lenise said...

Could you remove all the cladding and just finish the beam itself? Seems like you could use a few extra pieces of beadboard!

8:31 AM  
Blogger John said...

Well, from what we can tell, the "beam" is really several boards sistered together. If we pulled all the cladding off, I don't think it would look any better for the effort. I really wish we'd found a huge, solid beam under all that dry wall, but no such luck.

It could have been a lot worse though. I mean, at least they didn't cut the wall out with a chainsaw.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Lenise said...

Yeah, I was hoping since it served a structural function it would be a nice solid piece of wood! Our doorframes are just pieces of wood nailed onto the wall. Would that be a good reason to leave them painted? I like the unpainted look, but I haven't paid close enough attention to see if houses with unpainted woodwork have actual beams for doorframes.

5:58 PM  

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