Also, Warning for the Phobic: There is a picture of a large wolf spider in the wildlife pictures at the end.
The final destruction did not happen (though gutting did). Rain, lovely, moist, life-giving, infuriating rain negated any possiblity of using a front-loader in the massive amounts of mud, unless we wanted a construction vehicle doing triple axels Blades of Glory-style right next to the new house. No hole could be dug, and there's still a folorn shell of a house standing next to the new one.
In other words, when the machine rental guy calls up and says "uh, you might not want to do this", listen.
I arrived Thursday afternoon to find the historical society guys had taken off the floorboards in the Tavern room and upstairs bedroom. By Friday, they had removed the stairs to both bedrooms, and the floorboards in our bedroom:
And we got to discover how huge the beams for the house are. See that sill beam in the first picture (the one running under the doorway)? That's about 18" square heart pine. There's another one just as big underneath it, and similar ones on each side of the room. The floor joists aren't pegged, they're so heavy they don't shift.
The floor joists, in fact, are the size the framing sills should be. The joists can be half that size. This place is massively over-engineered (but that meant even centuries of rot didn't disturb it). Everything is heart pine - of a kind that is now extinct in the USA (logged out of existence). I thought it was all oak, since it didn't have any knots, but it's apparently all heart pine. And fantastic stuff. Solid as a rock.
On Saturday, our friends got to work on things, and new house stuff got done as well as gutting:
Kirsten and Harv making my new pantry shelves (thnx guyz! I has storage!) - they later helped put in the French doors to the master bedroom.
Cindy plays monkey on the rafters, ripping down drywall, while Kirk pretends Cindy isn't ten feet up on 200 year-old joists.
...And Kirk battles (and fails to kill) the whale (it was painted on concrete).
Some crazy construction happened once upon a time - see these corner posts?
There are four of them - they're each one piece of wood cut into a vee shape. Not two nailed together, one. One massive piece of wood. What were they thinking?!
I finally got to see the dimensions of the crawl space Alan and Craig got into when they checked the floorboards underneath the Tavern lo, these seven years ago:
That second one is the hole they crawled through. The original room had a horrible blue carpet and a 1" particle board underlayment (!!), so we couldn't tell what shape the floorboards were in from above. They crawled under, we took a chance, and they were great. Six hours with a circular saw, prybars, and a lot of sweat revealed beautiful heart pine tongue and groove boards that are now going to be used to restore/build houses on a living history site.
Hellooooo, tax write-off. Come to mama.
What was I doing? Futzing around in the rain, and taking pictures. We has persimmons, and we used to has bees, apparently:
Also, every mud-dauber wasp in the entire county:
Yes, those are all old mud-dauber nests.
It's always been wildlife-intensive on the farm - we had spiders, toads, butterflies, and vultures this past summer:
All irresistibly drawn to the house (even the butterfly came in). Not to mention the cows:
We've had some good times in that house.
The Cat's Perch Inn - 2001-2007
Rest well, old friend, you did your job right well.