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, October 31, 2006

Ass Backwards

Why do something right, when you can do it backwards? Easy, it’s twice the work and three times as aggravating. On the upside, we now have two working toilets. That has to count for something, right?

Here it is as of last night. You might not be able to tell, but the only part of the bathroom that has been fully painted is directly behind the toilet. That means we’ll have to cover everything with drop cloths and tape off this section of the room when we prep, sand, and paint the rest of the walls while maneuvering a ladder around the toilet.

So, if I’m anticipating this to be such a bugger, why did I set things up this way?

1) We needed an extra bath for our party.
2) We needed a bathroom that we could easily access without waking up our son during
nap time.
3) We’ll need this bathroom for Thanksgiving, lots of family will be in attendence.

The one disappointment was the top of the toilet tank won’t go on all of the way. It’s lacking around half an inch, mostly on the left side. This is a bit of a mystery to us. Sure, we put a layer of siding on the wall, but there were two layers of paneling here originally and we used the same rough-in as they originally had. I’m guess the difference is in the styling of the tank lid, and our new one just happens to take up more room. Until we fix this by notching out a section of siding (hopefully in a way that doesn’t scream “LOOK AT ME.”), we’ll have to hold off on mounting the sink. This is particularly annoying because we have all the parts to install it now. Bugger.

And, even though I keep talking about this like I did all the work, it was my wife that actually made it actually work. I was in a hurry so I screwed up in two ways. First, I forgot the plumber’s silicon tape when I connected the feed line to the cut-off valve. Of course, when I turned it on, I had a nice leak. So, Scarlet fixed that. Then, I didn’t get the toilet tank mounted tight enough. When I test flushed it … well, water went everywhere. Once again, enter Scarlet. She held the screw in place while I tightened the nuts up again.

Remember: fast is slow, slow is fast.

Have I mentioned that I hate plumbing?

Anyhow, now that this little project is semi-finished, I’m back to working on the laundry room. Then, in theory, we’ll have three working toilets and clean clothes.

And, here is a photo of this bathroom when we bought the Devil Queen all those years ago.

Lovely, isn't it?


Blogger Patricia W said...

Oh my gosh! My bathroom came with the same marble-look masonite wallboard!!!! It's soooo pretty, why did you get rid of it????

Really, what an incredible improvement. The bathroom is looking great, I love the tile.

12:58 PM  
Blogger John said...


8:43 AM  
Blogger derek said...

Maybe you can straighten the toilet, if it's 1/2" on one side, shouldn't it be an even gap at the wall. Just loosen the bolts, and turn the toilet until the tank is parallel to the wall. Maybe that's not the problem... be an easy fit if it is.

10:52 AM  
Blogger John said...


I tried something along those lines, but it didn't help. I think that the wall is a little out of plumb too; the center of the wall seems to bulge into the room, maybe 1/4 of an inch.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

1:00 PM  

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