March 2009 Blog Posts (11)

Floor Cloths in Old Homes

The use of painted canvas floorcoverings, also known as “oyl cloths” dates as far back as the 14th century in Europe. When people came to this country they were looking for ways to reproduce some of the furnishings they were used to back home. Resources were limited, but worn sails from ships provided them with a base to paint and cover the floor with.American primitive paintings often depict subjects standing on boldly geometric floorcloths; William… Continue

Added by Lisa Curry Mair on March 30, 2009 at 7:35am — 3 Comments

Video House Tour and New Website Launch

I've launched a new website featuring photo and video tours of historic properties. I hope to make it a collaborative site which features the photos and videos of other old home aficionados.

The first video tour is of Loch Aerie in Frazer, PA, a 6,000 sq. foot Italianate/Gothic Revival home. Please stop by.

Old House… Continue

Added by John ( on March 29, 2009 at 10:00pm — 5 Comments

Impressions Of An Old House Fair

I live in the Lehigh Valley. The area north of Philadelphia and west of NYC by about 70 miles. Easton, Bethlehem and Allentown have many 18th century buildings. The Parson-Taylor house was the home of one of Easton’s founders and also that of George Taylor a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Still, with all this history we are behind other communities in caring for our architectural gems. Yesterday, March 28th I spent the day in the Germantown section of Philadelphia at the Old House… Continue

Added by Rob Wozniak on March 29, 2009 at 11:19am — No Comments

Thanks for the invite.

I work with a friend (Wade) and we perform assessments historic property throughout South Carolina. We've collected a massive database of craftsmen from SC who participated in the building trades. This includes from the sawmill to the last coat of paint. We also included furniture makers and biggie/coach makers. We love to talk old houses and love to solve the puzzles they present. One of my favorite is the guess the age of a house from a physical description. or a photo of the floor or attic… Continue

Added by Rusty Robinson on March 28, 2009 at 7:16am — 1 Comment

More about the 1898 House

My sister asked me if we were going to name it if we got it, and the name Charlotte sprang instantly into my head. Not like "oh, that would be a good name" but "that IS her name." Is that weird?

So, anyway, on to the rest of the house. I am a bit less familiar with the rest, since I was busy dealing with phone calls the whole time we tried to walk through it....

At the front of the house, inside that magnificently tall door, is the entryway (foyer? how do you even… Continue

Added by Jana Petty on March 26, 2009 at 3:33pm — No Comments

House Dismissed, moving on to the previous one!

Well, the house we had been kind of hoping to get (built in 1877, enclosed porch, looked newish and had all new everything, but still a folk victorian hiding under everything) sold on friday. So, now, we're taking another, closer look at what it would take to fix the 1898, 10 room, 2400 square foot house with knob-and-tube wiring and asbestos siding.

Here's the info:

Kitchen: bare lath on 3 walls. Floor covered in some kind of very low profile textured carpet. One wall has… Continue

Added by Jana Petty on March 25, 2009 at 1:50am — No Comments

House Search

I'll start this by saying that I have never yet owned a house. The most expensive thing I've ever purchased myself was a digital camera ($385), and the most expensive thing I have ever owned is the car my husband bought us when we got engaged. We are now looking for a house, and boy is it scary to think of actually owning something that big and that expensive, that doesn't come with a warranty!

We both agree that we want an old house. Our ideal range is 1870-1920, although we are… Continue

Added by Jana Petty on March 23, 2009 at 3:41am — 4 Comments

How can a city structure the restoration of some old houses to create jobs.

I live in Eustis, Florida. It is a small town in central Florida. The town has a number of old houses that have fallen into disrepair. They are all large and five of them are at the entrance to downtown.

I am researching ideas to present to our city commissioners of ways the city can take these properties under their wing, entice contractors to renovate (green renovations, we are a "green" community) and resell.

The short term benefits are prices are depressed and this… Continue

Added by Joan Bryant on March 13, 2009 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

Water, water everywhere

As I sit here listening to my three sump pumps running and keeping an eye on the rising water level in the basement, I wonder if anyone out there has a problem such as this.

We were told that our house, built in 1915 (?) was originally built as an Inn. (It's location at a five points makes that seem possible) Supposidly, the refrigeration system used at the time was by building over an underground stream to use a fruit cellar and cold storage area. Hence, we have a running stream… Continue

Added by Claire on March 8, 2009 at 2:14pm — 2 Comments

Keeping the vision of your historic home.

What is it that makes a historic property speak to you, make you put all reason aside and see the beauty beneath the usually horrible add-ons that have followed the house like a very bad haircut. With time and the right expert you can overcome it. Those of us who deal with historic properties either in our professional lives or are lucky enough to live in such a property, can understand the emotional and sometimes irrational pull to take on the many challenges that only an old house can… Continue

Added by Louise H. Corderman on March 4, 2009 at 11:25am — 1 Comment

Best of the Blogs

When OHJ was founded back in 1973, it was one of the only resources old-house owners had to connect with and learn from one another. Fast-forward 36 years to a very different world—the Internet and all the communication forms it's spawned have made it ridiculously easy for all of us old-house lovers to find one another. Blogging, in particular, is now one of the best mediums in which old-house owners can share their successes and failures in the… Continue

Added by Clare Alexander on March 3, 2009 at 1:38pm — No Comments

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