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, May 16, 2006

Fringe Benefits or Why You Need to Have a Party

The great thing about having a We-Almost-Have-Running-Water Party is you get to visit with folks you usually don’t get to see. And, after a few beers, they tell you stuff like, “Hey, I’m working at a lumber mill now, and I might be able to hook you up with some good prices.”

“Do you have flooring?”

“Yeah, we just got a [some sort of milling machine that does flooring].”

“What kind of flooring do y’all mill? Walnut, oak, pine?”

“No, no pine. Mostly we do high-end cabinets. Lots of red oak and cherry.”


“Give me a call sometime. I see if I can find something for you.”

My wife talked with our friend last night.

He said, “Well, I think that I have about 400 square feet of flooring. It’s all remnants, but you probably won’t want it, it’s cherry.” Apparently he thought we had our desperate little hearts set on red oak. Little did he know that if the price was right, we’d take nearly anything (our roof is case and point).

Anyhow, since he is technically an “underling” my wife has to call and talk to The Man today so we can get the official price. Wish us luck.

Last night, we continued our marathon of pain and worked on the Devil Queen. My wife cleaned the kitchen up so everything will be ready for the tile guy if he comes today. I continued scraping the ceiling and finally succeeded in rubbing my knuckles raw. It made me wonder how much blood is shed during the construction or renovation of a home (not including the occasional, gory freak accident). I suspect that all the small blood-lettings really add up.

The two vessel sinks we ordered off of eBay came last night. They look just as good in person as they did online (always a concern). My wife did a little happy-dance around them, so they’re a success as far as I’m concerned.

If we have enough energy and time, we’ll be back at the Queen tonight. My wife’s car crapped out yesterday, and we’ll probably have to pick it up after work tonight. That may cut into our work time. She took it in yesterday to get a new battery (it’s really hard to find a battery for a 1998 VW Beetle in Russellville) only to discover that the front end was ready to fall off (slight exaggeration). It was bad enough that the mechanic basically said, “Don’t pick the car up tonight, please let us work on it some more so you don’t die on the way home.” Sounds good to me.

My wife was a bit distraught about this additional expense, but she felt better about it after I broke it down like this:

New tires, rods, battery, and other vital parts that keep the wheels on: $400.

NOT having your wife and son dying in a car wreck because of a mechanical failure: priceless.

I mean, you’d feel better too if your significant-other told you that you were worth at least $400, right?


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