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!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Project Deferred

It’s no secret that I’m a procrastinator with more projects than I can finish. The Devil Queen is a greedy old whore, and, since we acquired her, about 90% of my pet projects have been put on indefinite hold.

Last Friday (May 5th), I had an itching in the back of my mind that there was something significant about that date. While it was Cinco de Mayo (Kill Frenchie Day at our house), that wasn’t what was doing the brain tickling. It didn’t occur to me until Monday of this week which was V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.

May 5, 1945 was the last day of combat my grandfather’s unit saw in the Second World War. Before the Devil Queen elbowed her way into my life, I had started researching my grandfather’s unit, the 808 Tank Destroyer Battalion. It started as a genealogy project, but soon grew into a potential book project. I was in the process of ordering copies of all the official documents kept in the National Archives when the Queen took over my life. I haven’t ordered the last two-thirds of the documents since it would cost about $1,200. Insulation or military records? Plumbing or military records? I think you know which won those contests.

Sometimes (more often than not lately) I’d really like to be doing just about anything than thinking/working on the Queen. Lately, I’ve been suffering from debilitating daydreams about spending entire days in my pajamas, taking naps, and pissing all my time away. Compared to the dull, bleak reality of day to day life, it easy to see how this could be distracting. On the upside, the worst day with the Queen has to be better than fighting German panzers in Linz, Austria, right?


Anonymous Ivan Roseland said...

I know the feeling. THe last couple of years I have made stunning project on my place. But now I just feel burned out and stalled, or stalling. Especially looking forward to this summers fairly expensive work. The rate of burn could very well end up being a littlle higher than the rate of earn. ALl I can say is keep a sence of humor about it. Thigs are supposed to get better eventually.

Good Luck!


12:30 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

Can anyone get the docs that you need from the archives? I drive right by the College Park location twice a week on my way to school. I'd be happy to help...

12:57 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Wow, fascinating research project! I know how that goes, though. I never manage to follow through with any of my non-house projects. Oh wait, or house projects.

2:48 PM  
Blogger John said...


There is no way that I could ask you to help in good conscience, but I greatly appreciate the offer.

There are about 4,000 pages of documenets that I want. Even if you copy them yourself, it still costs about 25 cents per page. Besides which, I can't even begin to estimate how many hours that would take.

If you did do it, I'd feel obligated to pay you at least $1,200, and that brings me back to my original dilemma - insulation or documents.

Thanks again for the offer!

8:31 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

wow! 4000 pages is a lot! (I don't think that I've read 4000 pages, and I'm working on my lit review now!) If you want to come up and do research, you can always stay with us!
Good luck this weekend... we probably won't get anything done b/c my take home final is due next week.

11:25 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for the invite. Be careful though, I might actually take you up on it one day.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Archimedes24 said...


It's cool your grandad has imparted his experience to you, enough to make you want to research it further.

My step dad's father was a medic in WWII and he barely ever talks about it. My biological grandfather was in WWII as well, but he won't talk about it at all. He joined a spooky intelligence agency later on, and he won't talk about that at all either.

On the one hand, it's weird that so many guys experience something that affects them to the point that they want to completely forget about it. But on the other hand, it has shaped an entire generation, and how they value the things around them, and their ability to interact with loved ones.

We're lucky enough to never have faced a situation like that, and the fall-out associated with it. So, yeah, given the choice of a painful home renovation project, or shivering in the bottom of muddy foxhole, facing likely extinction, I think I'd take the former.

Unless the renovation involved fiberglass insulation...then gimme the warzone. That $hit's just plain 'ol mean.

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