Saturday, October 27, 2012

Now and Then

At some point soon, I'll have either Ghon, or his notes, nearby to do a post about the history of the house. We know who lived there in the late 1800's, and we've traced deed transfer back even further. Oh, by we, I mean Ghon. He's been a spending a lot of time at the local library archives and at the courthouse tracing the history.

We applied to have the house listed on the historic register. A representative from the VA Department of Historic Resources walked through the house with us on October 19. She identified elements of the architecture that suggest one section of the house was built in the late 1700's, the other section in the late 1800's. We documented everything we had, but it wasn't enough. We were told Thursday (Oct 25) that we didn't qualify and our application was denied. There is still a chance to do more research and try again; but we just aren't sure if we will at this point.

A brief recent history:
Ghon's father, Thomas Ghon Eckley bought the property in 1985. He lived there until he died in 2010. At that time, Ghon's stepbrother and his family moved in to help take care of things and his step-mother, whose health was declining. She died four months after her husband. This year, the opportunity presented to purchase the property and house - so we jumped on it. Tons of paperwork and the quickest - and most entertaining closing I've ever attended - later, we own the home and just shy of 45 acres. 

See the big rectangle in the middle? Kinda looks like Oklahoma? That's the farm. Hummingbird Farm. The house is in the far right corder and trees, lots of trees all around us.

But wait, we don't just own the home - we now own a ton of stuff in it. Mind you, older people are pack rats. To rephrase that, children of the depression appreciate things, and value what they have. It's not just used and destroyed. The attic is packed full of things - I haven't even ventured up there yet. There is a small room that leads to the attic - and it is full of 'stuff'. The most important finds have been pictures. Tons of family pictures, and pictures of Ghon as a toddler that we never knew were around. That is cool; and an entire post can, and probably will be, dedicated to the cool finds.

Ghon's father (TG) did a lot of work to the home over the years. We were hoping to find some cool pictures of what the house looked like back before he changed things (removing doors, windows, closing in porches, removing stairways).

Printed January 1986
Ghon's stepmother (#1) Kate

TG working on the house - October 1989

August 1990
The upper porch has been screened in, doors and windows removed in the front and replaced,
shutters and a coat of paint added.
October 2012
The bottom porch is screened in and a new outer porch added. The storm door was relocated and new landscaping added.
The huge tree in the front is a walnut tree. If you think acorns are tricky to walk on, try tripping on a walnut.

I kinda like the look circa 1990. I would like to keep the upper porch screened in. The door to the porch is in the master bedroom and I'd love to sit out there at night or leave the door open and not worry as much about bugs. Ghon wants the old front steps back, but probably not with the green indoor/outdoor covering.

The house desperately needs a fresh paint job. Very early stages of picking a color scheme. I'd love a neutral color with a very bold front door color. Just not sure yet.

We did get a little good news today. Ghon thought the roof was going to need relacing. We had a contractor come out today and provide an estimate. While will probably benefit from a new roof, the need is not as urgent as we feared. Contractor's opinion is that there are few other projects more important than replacing the roof, like fixing window sills, removing the broken gutters, and trimming back that big ol' walnut tree.

And if the reference wasn't caught, Ghon was cool with the name. So were his friends on facebook. The name is now Hummingbird Farm!

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