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, April 26, 2006

Eureka Springs

Wow, nothing like a short vacation to bring the misery and pointlessness of your day-to-day routine into sharp focus. My wife and I left our son with his grandparents for the weekend and went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This was our first real vacation in years (since we got the Queen), and we had a great time.

Eureka Springs is the largest historic district in Arkansas (I’ve heard it’s the largest in the US, but I don’t know that for a fact). It started as a Victorian Era resort boom-town and most of its historic homes, businesses, building, et cetera have survived to the present.

We’d originally planned to stay at the Basin Park Hotel, but they didn’t have anything available on such short notice. The Crescent Hotel (certifiably haunted) was also full. In the end, we tried something new, a bed & breakfast. The bed & breakfast we stayed in was the Bridgeford House. Here is a picture.

We stayed in the private suite that was added to the back of the house sometime in the last 20 years. They put in a lot of effort to making it look old, but, since we’ve spent three-some-odd years working on the Queen, we riddled it out in the first five minutes we were there. Even so, it was a nice suite and its age (or lack of) in no way interfered with our enjoyment of it. It had a king sized bed, tons of amenities, a private entrance, and a Jacuzzi. Also, we got breakfast in bed every morning. In the off chance any of you end up in Eureka Springs, I would highly recommend them. It was easily one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed.

Since we are certifiable house-whores, we spent a lot of time scoping out all the for-sale property in need of TLC. We’ve decided that if we are forever doomed to live in Arkansas that we would like to live in Eureka Springs. Here are a couple houses we liked.

We took pictures of this house because of its roof crest (Cap? Trim? Whatever the proper name for it is). It is nearly identical to some of the stuff we pulled off the Queen.

One of the worst things about Eureka Springs is the antique shops. As you walk down the street, you are libel to get hit buy all the purses and wallets being sucked into the shops. On the upside, once your wallet or purse is empty, they will gladly return it to you.

The shop we had the most trouble with was Crystal Gardens Antiques. We spent a lot of time and money here over the weekend. They sell a lot of the usual fare: china, books, small items, furniture (limited selection, the best of which was a China hutch salvaged from an 1880’s railroad car), and silver. However, what they specialize in is refurbished antique lighting: lamps, chandeliers, sconces, and more. Here are a couple of pictures of the shop.

The prices range from about $160 to $1,500 and they date from around 1880’s to the1920’s. While the selection of Victorian lighting is exceptional, they have the best selection Art Deco lighting I’ve seen in state (and in a few neighboring ones too).

As you may have guessed, we couldn’t restrain ourselves. We bought the Queen a pretty. Here I am carrying off our loot. You want to see it? Sorry, we don’t have a picture of it yet. I know, we're a tease. Don't worry, you'll get to see it before too long.


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