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, January 17, 2008


I was reading the comments on the previous post this morning. Not that I'm not glad to hear from Sandy, but this comment from Lee caught my attention:

"I started reading your blog when I found out your fam used to own my house. This post is soooo true.

we are on year 13 of a damn bathroom renovation. Everytime we save enough $$$$ to finish the thing, a water pipe breaks/radiator explodes/roof leaks and ruins another room. stupid house. I will die here

My first thought was, "we owned your house?" WTF? The one in Kewanee? The natural detective that I am, I thought, "Well, if they've been reading the blog since they discovered that, maybe they left a comment on the originial post? That would make sense, right?" So, I backtrack to the post on our family's old home in Kenwanee, Illinois, and found this comment:

I live here! 423 S. Tremont

I was researching past owners Wilsey (the builder) & John Chisnall.

no, you can't buy it. lol. We bought it in 1993 and have spent the last 14 years working on it. one word. duplex. what were they thinking!

Lots of charm still remained. including the massive oak trim that was refurbished by previous owners. I would love to talk abt the house. We are avid historians and enjoy the search.

sorry to ramble, but my gosh what was the luck of that?


ps. can i get a copy of that picture? I have a few, but none head on. also, ask your family whose name is carved into the dining room window, there are different stories abt it."

I am still stunned.

First, let me apologize to Lee for not having seen this sooner. While I periodically look through old posts to see if there are new comments, I don't do it very often. And, if the posts are more than a month or two old, I my miss any and all new comments. Please, don't think that I've been ignoring you all of this time. This has made my day!

Second, let me answer your posts:

1) Really, since I already have three houses, I really don't need a fourth one. It's a good thing that you are not interested in selling it. Actually, would you like to buy one of ours?

2) I'd love to talk about the house too. Please email me at: thedevilqueen(at)hotmail(dot)com. I'd be more than happy to try to answer whatever questions you might have. Unfortunately, everyone in my family who lived in the house has died. However, my dad visited the house as a child and has all the family history, photos, etc.

3) Yes, you may have a copy of the picture. I'd tell you to email me your address, but I already have it, right? Let me warn you, I'm a little (notoriously) slow about getting around to things I mean to do (ask my wife). It may take me a little to get around to sending it, but I'll see I can't get if I can get it out sooner rather than later.

4) Also, I have a hand drawn floor plan of the house my Uncle Chuck did for me. The floor plan would be what the house looked like in the 1930's - 1950's. I know that we have at least one photo of my uncle Chuck in his Army uniform in front of the house in 1942 or 1943. There may be some more incidental photos of the house, but I'll have to get with my dad about that. I'll send whatever I can find.

5) I know nothing about a name carved in the window, but I'm very curious. I'll see if my dad knows.

I checked your blogger profile, but I didn't see any pictures of the house online. Did I miss them? If there are not any online, I'd love to see some pictures of what you've done with the house. I look forward to hearing more from you. Sorry it took so long for us to get together on this.

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Anonymous Aimee said...

That is so cool! I wonder how often things like that are going to start happening now that so many people are blogging about their houses and such.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

13 years... can you imagine?

10:14 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

small small world, wouldnt you say?
I love your blog, dude. We are renovatin on the washington coast.
Lord help us=
coastal nest

9:28 PM  
Blogger John said...

Aimee, isn't it though? This is the first time I've heard of anything like this happening, but, as more people get online, I don't see how it could be the last.

Sandy, no. That would be like having bought the Devil Queen during my freshman year of college and still not having finished it. That scares me.


Thanks and good luck (I haven't meet anyone who didn't need some when it comes to renovation)!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

That's so cool! When I posted some old photos of old houses (I bought a lot of them online), a guy responded and said they were his family's houses, so I sent him pics. I wish I could find something like that.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Fargo said...

How cool is that! And Kewanee comes back in another thread. I hope to get back there to visit again later this year. I'm glad that so many of the beautiful old houses have survived and are well kept. Nearby Bishop Hill and Cambridge also have some beauties.

8:09 AM  

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