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!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It Costs More Than Money

Amanda provided a link to this story in a comment to a post below. It's a great article. This segment of the article stuck with me:

How long did projects like re-caulking 733 window panes take?

“Years,” Mr. Giffels says. “This is where I’m glad I wrote the book 10 years later, it gave me a perspective of all the time it cost: All my vacation time, all my possible spare time, a number of years of my children’s growing up I gave to my children’s house. And once you get in it, you can’t get out, you can’t sell a house in that condition. When all of a sudden you realize what it is costing you in your life, it’s too late.” [Emphasis added by me]

First, Mr. Giffels is 100% right.

Second, whereas he loves the town in which he lives, I do not. This makes being trapped with my whore of an old house even more odious. Not only do I resent the amount of my life the house has stolen, I don't particularly like where it is: in a dry county without reliable internet service of any kind, little to no cell phone reception, and a shitty job market (even in the best of times). It might be an understatement to say that strategic planning was not one of our great strengths.

On the upside, I didn't have to refurbish 733 panes of glass. If I did, I think I would have shot myself a long time ago. Really, that much glass is hell. I'm just impressed that he finished.

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Blogger Jenni said...

I really don't like our town either. Yes, it's a pretty town, it stops there, pretty shallow.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Neo said...

Hello John,
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4:19 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

I wholeheartedly sympathize with you. I don't necessarily hate the Russellville/River Valley area so much as I hate the people in it. I should have moved to Chicago while I had the chance.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Hi, I happened upon your blog some months ago searching for some positive aspects to home renovations. . . or rebuilding an old home. My DH & I have the opportunity to buy an 1915 house, located in a prefect location for us but I've battled the thoughts of having to spend at minimum a year of my already busy life rebuilding it to my living standards. I realize now that a year is really unrealistic and know that it will be a lifetime of small projects. Everyone I've met in this search process says to "run, run like hell!" Do you have any convincing thoughts on the positives of re-doing an old house? Is there a sense of gratification when you're finally living in it? Any words of wisdom appreciated.

10:02 PM  

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