Entering Our 100th Year

Our house was built circa 1910. I'm not sure of the exact date, though I should probably look into that, huh? At any rate, 100 years!

I think of 'ol Herb Allen, the man who built our house. His father actually lived right next door, and if I remember correctly, sold off a chunk of his land so Herb could build his house. (Can you believe there's a book about our village taken from mostly diary entries of a local resident? It's terribly boring reading unless you're super interested in the mundane people who lived in our neighborhood 100 years ago.)

I take that back - there are a few interesting anecdotes. One involving Herb himself. He was a thrifty and conservative type of guy - one who was distrustful of the day's latest novelty, automobiles! But his wife was persistent and finally convinced him to buy one, which they drove to the town's annual 4th of July festivities. But Herb was also stubborn and once they had arrived, refused to get out of the car. Bad idea. He was struck and killed by a stray bullet shot from one rowdy reveler.

His wife soon moved out of the house, but kept ownership and rented it out right up until the early 1950's. In desperate need of renovation, the house was purchased by Robert Thompson and his wife, who overhauled the entire property right into the early 60's. (How do we know that? Newspapers we found in our windows - ancient insulation - were dated 1955. Behind the bathroom tile, a date of 1960-something.)

The Thompsons owned the house until they passed away in the early 00's - and in 2004 we purchased it from their sons when it was again in desperate need of renovation.

And that brings us right up until today!

In honor of the centennial, we'll be planning a huge party/open house this summer. I hope to feature Herb's story plus before pictures in every room and a video. And of course we'll have a big BBQ and all that fun stuff too.

I had kinda hoped we would be done by now... well, not done because you're never done. You know what I mean... at a point. And I suppose I can at least hope that the hardwood floors in the living room, plus the farmer's porch will be complete by mid-end of summer.

Speaking of which, all this snow as of late has pushed back completion of Dodge #2, (although Mike did get the transfer case installed - everything's ready for the new cab to be lowered on) so we may be moving on to the hardwood sooner than expected. Plus, after talking with our plumber friend, (yeah, our heat downstairs is still fickle) Mike decided that the easiest and best solution would be radiant heat.

What is radiant heat? Well, basically, you run flexible plastic tubing beneath your floors. Hot water runs through the tubing just as it does through the radiators and heats the floor. That heat then rises, warming your home... not to mention keeping your footsies nice and toasty. Since it's not copper, it's economical. There's no soldering or any of that either. Just a few connections to the regular heating system, and off you go.

Mike discovered he could order all the materials through his work too - bonus! So he already has everything on order... and he's feeling mighty excited to get started. Once the heat is finished, which should be a simple procedure, why not just keep the ball rolling? Tear up the old floor, slap down the plywood, and install the hardwood. Mike and I are hardwooding machines and it wouldn't take more than a few hours to complete the entire living room once the plywood is installed.

Stay tuned!

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