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, June 18, 2007

The Disease Spreads

It looks like we may have started something.

Historic house to be moved to Atkins lot

"A historic house is scheduled to be moved to a lot in the 3400 block of West Main (Highway 64). The Atkins Planning Commission unanimously approved a request last week by Sarah Keathley to move the Effie Tucker house from the Pottsville school grounds to the vacant field east of a field owned by her sister, Mary Clow. The two of them addressed the commission about the plans. Their stepfather, Ray Tucker, is preparing the house, which was his parents’ and his residence, for the move, which is scheduled for sometime in June. The house has been used as a child-care facility. The school board decided to remove it to build a new building and offered it to the family. After it is moved and renovated, Ray and Sue Tucker, his wife and mother of Clow and Keathley, plan to live in the house. (The Chronicle will have a more detailed story and pictures in a future edition. The house was built by a Dr. Jean.) The Planning Commission approved another request and accepted one permit at its monthly meeting Tuesday, June 6. The other request was rezoning of a lot just north Sexton Foods from R-2 residential to C-2 commercial. That request, by Joann Baker, for a vacant lot formerly occupied by her family, was approved unanimously. She is the wife of Charles Baker, chairman of the Planning Commission. The building permit was to Ann Goodall for a metal building used as a camper at 1703 W. Main St., $2,000. All members were present, including Chairman Charles Baker, Kathleen Napier, vice president; Janis Davis, secretary; Chris Fryer, and Elmo Bizzell, and permit inspector Albert Thatcher. Also present were Joann Baker, Mary Clow, Sarah Keathley and one reporter."

On the upside, these are good folk who seem to know what they are doing. Mrs. Clow's husband did all of our concrete work, and she brought everyone by the Devil Queen for the how-to house moving tour. I think they'll do a much better job than we did, quicker and more efficient. In any case, I wish them the best of luck.

And, apparently, we are more influencial than I thought. Even Harvard is getting into the act (thanks to EGE for the heads-up on this one).



Anonymous Frauke said...

i felt compelled to actually leave a comment.. i am supposed to be working right now and then i started researching paints and primers and linseed oil, which is how i cam upon your blog.. and then i could not stop reading it.. laughing out loud many times and dragging my sister to my laptop so she could share your humorous and so true descriptions. of course, as i am tearing myself away from this, i could not leave without saying that you and your wife are brave souls.. and that the floor plan of your house is almost a replica of my 100 year old house. at this point in time, my husband and i are in the process of scraping the paint off the exterior of the devil queen's twin in north carolina.. well, my husband has done the scraping and i have been ogling the silent paint remover. we just started and are at a loss as to what brand of oil-based primer to use, what paint, what color, and how to go about the whole process. well, i am at a loss, and he, being a man's man, claims he knows exactly what to do and just continues scraping.. the inside of our house was liveable ( thank god) and the prior owner put a lot of effort into restoring it.. but the outside is daunting.. depending on my mood, the house looks either huge to me, or really huge, despite it having only one level.. the only difference between our floor plans are the deck at the end of the main hall way when you enter the house from the front - where the prior owner took away whatever was there and added a walk-in closet next to the bathroom, and then the kitchen area. we do not have another bedroom at the back of it.. it is very long, and where there once was a pantry, the prior owner added a second bathroom.

so.. as i really really have to get back to work and i cannot seem to find your blog in re your paint - and whether you actually built an infrared paint remover, i would be eternally grateful if you could direct me to them.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

It seems there are more houses being moved than one might believe!

I think there was a short lived show on one of those popular pay tv networks, can't remember which one.

And I think there were some homes moved around a local campus in my part of town recently.

11:36 AM  
Blogger John said...

In case anyone is interested in what I email Frauke, here is the meat of it:

"[T]o answer your questions:

1) The best primers to use for an old home's exterior is oil based.
Sherman Williams makes some really good ones (though there may be others). There are two or three different grades of it, I think. When we started, we used A-100 Sherman Williams Oil Based primer. However, due to budget and time dead lines, we were forced to use Zelners' Bullseye and Kiltz to finish. Both were waterbase (Zilner is the best of the two) though oil based is available. They work fine, but will not last as long as the A-100.

The primers (all mentioned) can be painted over with either oil or laytex exterior paints. We used waterbase Valspar from Lowe's and are pleased with it.

2) I never did get around to building the UV paint remover. However, I did purchase a quartz/UV space heater (the main parts for a UV remover) and tried it out by placing the space heater next to some old, painted siding.
I worked. So, if you are feeling brave, build one. As a non-electrican, it looks easy enough to build. I never got around to it since I was so busy with everything else."

6:32 AM  

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