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!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wood Putty?

One of the advantages to living in your evil, decrepit house as you work on it is that you are forced to spend a lot time thinking about future projects. Just sitting in my living room lawn chair confronts me with this to-do list:

1) I really need to scrape down and paint the ceiling.
2) There are several holes in the wall that need to be patched.
3) The whole room needs to be painted.
4) We need to re-hang the window trim.
5) The transom needs to be fixed.
6) The floor needs to be refinished.

Item six was on my mind yesterday. The living room floor boards are 5 inch wide planks of tongue in groove (heart of?) pine. The outer two feet or so next to the walls are painted/stained a dark brown color. And, there are a lot of wide cracks between the floor boards. Not wide enough for you to look into the crawlspace, but given a little encouragement, it could happen. What I find weird about these cracks is that someone filled them with what appears to be really ancient window glazing compound. I’ve even compared some glazing that flaked off the front door to it, and it looks identical to white junk between my floor boards. Anyone else ever seen something like this before?

Since I plan to fill these cracks with good (NOT ELMERS) wood putty, I’ll have to scrape all this crap out. On the upside, they only puttied the floor where they stained it. The middle of the room (presumably hidden under a rug) is just as naked as the day they installed it in 1890.

Another weird bit of trivia about the wood floors in our living room and dining room is that the floors have gotten smoother and taken on a hint of shine since we moved in to the Queen. Apparently, just walking on it has buffed it up a little. It’s pretty cool.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Karen said...

There are several ways (besides putty) to fill in these gaps. One is hemp rope. I've used this and it's cheap and easy.
Check it out:

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=wood+floors+gaps+hemp+rope&prssweb=Search&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-500&x=wrt

Karen

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Annie said...

I was in a lovely old Victorian where they (the original owners) had leveled the floor with PLASTER all around the edges before putting down carpet. Bizarre.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Angus said...

The standard thing to do here in Germany is to cover the floors with "estrich" (screed?). Think high school floors, that cement sort of stuff with (or without) stone/glass bits in it. This on all floors of the house.
We've looked at a couple old places to sell where they were putting it down straight on the old wood floors.
One doesn't renovate let alone restore here, one modernizes.

12:12 AM  
Blogger John said...

Karen,

I tried the link but didn't get anywhere.

How does hemp do with sanding and sealing the floor? Do you cover it with something?

Annie,

Plaster is weird, but it makes a lot more sense than some of the other stuff I've seen people do.

Angus,

That is a shame they "modernize" everything in Deutscheland.

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