October 02, 2009

And the Playmate of the year is.....

More and more of the old section of our house is being exposed to day light. Timbers and lumber that have not seen the light of day in over a century are squinting at the blazing sun and searching desperately for sunglasses. This picture was taken in the dining room looking up the chimney chase which used to be encased in brick, and now awaits a new liner of wood for gas fire chimneys. Its fun and exciting to open up the dark recesses and search for hidden treasures. Just two days ago Chuck and Brent, our builders demo and construction artists, discovered an ancient treasure buried under the floor boards of the second floor attic room. Lying tucked away and buried there for forty two years was a 1967 issue of Playboy. We handled the artifact with white gloves and carefully swept the dust away with soft brushes so as to do no harm. As the beautifully preserved remnant of times gone by was gently tucked into a large plastic ziplock bag, Miss August tried to unfold and free herself from her prison, but we managed to coerce her back inside with promises of full exposure once this piece of history has been delivered to the Healdsburg Museum to be put on display with other small finds from the 1870 John Marshall House.

A truly amazing, antique specimen, note the .75 cent cover price... 
Ahhh, the old days!

I find the vintage clothing and hairstyle to be quite fascinating,
hard to believe people actually dressed like that, can you imagine?


As more of the house prepares to go up a story, it seems more is torn down. The wall that separates the dining room from the kitchen area was never meant to be replaced, but upon opening it up it was discovered that it was built with two by three inch studs instead of two by four. So down she came. Even the framed in wall in the picture will mostly be removed as it is to have an eight foot opening in it that leads from the dining room into the new hallway. So down it will come. But, I promise that new construction will start one week from today, and the tear down will stop. Instead the back of the house will fill in and rise up to its new finish height.

Choices are being made left and right. Its great fun and very exciting to search and research, and search some more, to find craftsmen who can do the types of work you need, and are willing to do them for a reasonable cost. We will have windows to add to the existing ones and new exterior doors in about a month. The original windows are being kept in place where they are and restored, but any missing windows for the new construction are being handmade to be exactly like the windows from 1870, weights, ropes, pulleys and all. Doors on the other hand are tough. There is not a single photograph of the house that shows a door. They are either in shadow or open. All we can do is guess as to their original design, and guess we have. But I think they will be beautiful! My next post, unless we have another visit from the Crank on the Crankscoot x5000, will be about floors and tile. Sounds kind of dry but I am sure I can find a way to put a twist on it!


  1. Wonderful vintage clothes on the Misses. Thanks for keeping up these posts--they're priceless. Sara

  2. I bet the Museum can't wait to proudly display the vintage Playmate!
    Keep up the great work, Mark. I look forward to it each night.

  3. You share some wonderful stories here!


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