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!)