Monday, June 30, 2014

A Fun Discovery

Ever since we started demolition on the renovation house and saw the style of construction (1x6 boards nailed to both sides of rough-cut 2x4s), we've wondered how old this house is. Well, today I found out!

I was putting up insulation today (a wonderful job on a 90+ degree day, may I say) when I noticed some pencil scribblings on one of the boards. I think I've seen them before, but just thought they were scribbles. But today, up close with the insulation, I noticed the scribbles formed words - "Clarksville, Ark, March 20, 1914."

I knew right away that HAD to be the date the house was built, because we've done that sort of thing, too. With any new cement poured at our farm, our kids put their handprints and scratched their name and the date with a nail. My son wrote his name and a date in the garage with sidewalk chalk when we removed a piece of the drywall to fix up a way to attach a generator to the breaker box. Marking one's name and date is not a new idea, either; there is a well in our yard from the old house that was here when we bought the property. It has a rock wall topped with a concrete slab, and sure enough, scratched into that concrete is the name of one of the children who lived here and the date (in the 1940s).

Since the date and the location were there on the stud, I looked more carefully at the scribbles above and finally decided the last name was Kraus. Unfortunately, the new drywall ceiling cut off the first name, but I'm guessing it was Orville, because the letters I could see were "ville." What other names end in "ville"?

Anyway, now we have a last name and a time frame, so we can look back in county records and find out something about the history of the house. That's cool. And believe me, we will be picking up the Sharpie and writing "Renovated by Marlows, 2014" along the stud below the original notation.

(And it's pretty darn cool that the house is exactly 100 years old!)


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that is pretty neat - I have looked for things like that on our our house as we have ripped parts of it apart and we have found no writing but we have found bits of old newspaper in the ceiling and walls, some dating back to 1938 or 1939 but the construction has been the same as what you say you have found in yours. We are thinking the house was built before that and the newspaper was added for insulation.

Chip Butter said...

If only walls could talk...they just did! I enjoy your posts about the "town house" ...looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Ann Turnbull said...

Oh, how exciting!

Other possible names - Neville? Melville?

lil red hen said...

On our last remodeling, I fixed a "time capsule" and put it inside the wall behind the wainscoting in the dining room. I included pictures of the original kitchen, pages from a mail order catalog to show fashion styles of the time, and a history of the building of the house. Now I wonder, how many years will it be before someone finds it. I'm glad you found this!

Augustina Peach said...

I'd like to put together a time capsule like that with some of the scraps of the wallpaper we saved and other bits like that. However, with everything that has to be done, I just don't know if I'll get one put together before all the walls are closed in.