I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
There will be many posts in 2014, as we have great things planned for the restoration of our Little Blue House.
|LBH, Summer 2012|
Here is the LBH now, with a new foundation and minus a deck/front stairs.
|LBH, November 2013|
Lastly, here is our only historical photo of the house. It was probably taken around 1919, sometime after the house was moved from its original location in Discovery, 7 km away. We suspect that 1919 is a probable year for the relocation, since we found vintage newspapers underneath the linoleum flooring in the bedroom, dating from October 1919. We like the original entrance to the LBH (what was the original colour of the house anyways?). Our contractor thinks it will be possible to reproduce this small deck and stairs. What do you think?
|LBH, circa 1919?|
|Under the Kitchen, Oct 2012|
|Under the Parlour, Oct 2012|
|Broken Glass Under the Bedroom, Oct 2012|
|Under the Parlour & Bedroom, Nov 2013|
|Under the Kitchen, Nov 2013|
|Crawl Space, Looking Aft Towards Bedroom|
|Crawl Space, Looking Towards the Kitchen|
|Side View of Foundation|
|Autumn Shadows & LBH|
|Foundation Work, October 2013|
|Little Blue House, October 2013|
|Cement Base for Bay Window|
The picture below shows the pony wall under construction. It will help to support the house along its perimeter, as well as prevent critters from getting into the LBH from underneath. The insulation and vapour barrier will go a long way towards making us more comfortable there, too.
|Pony Wall Under Construction|
The whole area underneath the house is dry, for the first time in over a hundred years! Check out these posts and beams. I'm thrilled with the work so far.
|New Posts and Beams Under the LBH|
|LBH, June 2012|
|LBH, July 2012|
Lastly, I took the last photo in late September, 2013, after the house was jacked up to a level position. People walking or driving past the LBH almost always slow down or stop to check out its progress. The other day, I overheard a woman driving say to her passenger, "Wow! That must cost a fortune!" Well, yes it does.
We are impatient for the foundation work to be completed before the snow flies, which will be any day now. Our contractor assures me that they will finish up this phase of the project this week. We'll see about that! But for now, when I look at these pictures, I feel that we've saved the place from falling down.
|LBH, September 2013|
|Bedroom Wall Repair, Oct 2013|
|The Little Blue House, Standing Up Straight|
We are extremely fortunate that our original, leaded glass windows did not shatter during the raising of the house. But when you move one part, other parts are bound to move, too. The first bit to break was the floor where the addition attaches to the back of the house, where the original back door used to be, in the kitchen. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but you can see straight through to the ground below through this crack.
|Floor Crack #1 in Kitchen|
The second bit that gave way was where the kitchen joins the parlour, and it turns out that this, too, was an addition. My husband figured it out first, and our contractor confirmed his suspicion. The original building (probably as it existed in Discovery, before the building was moved to Atlin) was only two rooms, the bedroom and the parlour. The kitchen was a separate building, possibly from Discovery also, that was added on later, maybe when the house was moved to its current location. I don't think we will ever know if the original two parts came from the same place.
Here are the clues:
|Floor Crack #2 in Kitchen|
|Progress! 31 August 2013|
|Vancouver Daily Sun, 17 Oct 1919|
|Eva Lambert's Newspaper|
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that Eva was the madam when the LBH was a brothel. She was later married to Samuel James Daniell, at which time she became Eva Lambert Daniell. Perhaps when she first lived in the house, she was not married yet.
Furthermore, we may surmise that it was Eva who had the linoleum installed over top of the original fir flooring in the LBH. It was popular to cover up wood floors back then.
What else might we discover, covered up, in our little house?
|Excavation Seen from Underneath the Bedroom|
|Looking Toward the Front of the House|
|Little Blue House, August 2013|
|The No. 21 Economy Stove, circa ?|
When I looked at the exterior wall of the master bedroom, I was appalled, although not surprised. We knew there was a big problem in that room, which is why we had started gutting it from the inside. A corner of the floor felt spongy underfoot and had been an obvious ingress point for mice in the past. From the outside, once the wall was exposed, I could see that the damage was extensive. The beams underneath the floor joists are rotten, and the wood just crumbles when you touch it.
Our contractor made a suggestion... he raised the idea of excavating from the inside of the LBH! Since the beams are rotten, along with some of the joists, the floor would have to be replaced anyways (in the master bedroom). The notion of excavating from the inside, as well as from the front and sides of the house, was something I had not considered previously. The house is sitting on clay and the room available for hand excavation is very limited, so this idea had merit. We decided to go for it.
|Exterior Wall of Master Bedroom|
The team started to remove the floor and continue excavating, and they are making pretty quick work of it now. I was sad to see the fir floor being ripped up, as we had hoped to refinish it (it was hidden underneath linoleum. Our contractor showed me the flooring and how it had been damaged from being so damp, so I guess it wasn't worth saving. At least the flooring in the parlour and kitchen will be saved; it's all hidden under lino, too.
|Out Comes the Floor!|
The picture above was taken yesterday afternoon, just after our contractor started from the inside.
Here is the bedroom as of this afternoon. It is interesting, and alarming, to see that when we stood upon the bedroom floor, our feet were less than a foot away from the earth. The bare, damp, un-vapour-barriered, un-insulated, mousy earth. No wonder it was so damp and cold in there!
The other fascinating discovery is that the ground underneath the far corner of the room is absolutely covered in a thick layer of broken glass! It appears to be liquor bottles, all broken, with some rusted metal strapping that perhaps used to hold the bottles together? One of the guys working commented that maybe there used to be a liquor store where our house is now. So perhaps prior to the last fire that destroyed much of Atlin, this was the place to come for booze!
That seems fitting, since after that, it was the site of a brothel. Alcohol, debauchery, what next?
|LBH, July 2013|
|Cribbing Under the Crib|
|A Work in Progress|