Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thales G. Yeaton House Rehabilitation Underway!

After a season of giving our guests tours of the empty Yeaton House, we have raised enough funds to begin the rehabilitation of the c.1795 building.  John Schniztler, Strawbery Banke's restoration carpenter, is leading a team in prepping the house for work.  They are stripping wallpaper, stabilizing lath and plaster on walls and ceilings, removing debris and even building out new walls.  

Zach dons a respirator to scrap paint and wall paper from the parlor chamber wall

 In the first of what is bound to be many interesting discoveries, John was able to date finish work in the back rooms of the second floor.  After taking off the buckled tongue in grove twentieth century floor, then the badly damaged nineteenth century floor below, he discovered a very well-worn sub floor.  The sub-floor was attached to the joist with hand-wrought nails, as is the finish floor on the first floor of the house and the front portion of the second floor.   
The subfloor can be seen on the left - notice the mill marks and how worn the pine board is.  The first finish floor to the right shows marks left from a third floor that had been added in the twentieth century.

Machine cut nails.
However, the finish floor in the back was nailed with machine cut nails!  Available circa 1805, this floor was added at a later date.  Also, the subfloor, which was milled with an up and down water powered saw, was very well worn indicating that it had been walked on for an extended period of time.  

To further bolster this theory, the door and window mouldings in the back of the second floor are also different from that in the rest of the house.  

We’ll keep you updated on the secrets and knowledge the Thales Yeaton House gives up as we continue to rehab the house!

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Archaeology Storage

New storage spaces have been found and are now housing most archaeological evidence that were in Yeaton-Walsh house.  The artifacts are in a much safer environment now.  The house is also relieved of the weight!

Alix Martin, our new archaeologist, has been moving the organization of the department right along.  Prior to working here, she worked at Colonial Williamsburg and has much experience in archaeology.  She is currently working towards her PhD.  It will be great to have her as Strawbery Banke's new Archaeologist!!

Chase basement is now cleaned up and full of Puddle Dock excavation findings.  There is a lot more storage space now and is a great area.  It is important to be able to preserve these artifacts in the way that they were discovered.  If they lose their structural integrity, they are no longer able to answer the questions we may have about their history.

More areas will be able to be used for storage soon.  Small and older shelving unsuitable for artifact storage is going to be removed in the coming year and be replaced by the metal shelving used in Goodwin basement as well as Chase basement. This will be one of our final steps in organizing the artifact collections. 

Look forward to updates on further activities at Strawbery Banke!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Townhouse Update

The townhouse is being updated once more in the two west rooms previously occupied.  Now that the previous tenants have moved out, restoration is underway.  The project is expected to be done over the winter and ready for office occupations this spring.

Yeaton House Restoration

Yeaton house is the next building in line for a full restoration.  Built in 1794, these two houses are conjoined in the center by a wall.  The original property owner was Thales Yeaton.  Half of this land was sold to his brother-in-law, Timothy Winn.  They both started construction at the same time and presumably finished in 1795.  The Thales Yeaton house was built as a single family house with a central chimney structure and had a small shop in the front of the house. This shows that someone in the family worked out of their home.  As it appears today, this house is of 1830s appearance and will be restored to this period.

The white house on the left is the side Winn constructed.  The grey and red side was built by Yeaton.  They are conjoined in the middle by a wall.
Back side of the Thales Yeaton house in its current state.

The amount of $20,000 is being funded by an LCHIP grant for this restoration. The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program provides grants for historic preservation and land conservation in New Hampshire.  Their goal is to provide non-profits with resources to protect and preserve New Hampshire's historic and natural resources.

Gifts from community members, foundations, and other organizations are also funding this restoration project. 
The restoration and preservation of this building will be maintained at its 1830 appearance. The ground floor clapboards will be replaced to return to the 1830s look.  The top floor's clapboards are period correct so they will remain in place.  The foundation, windows, roofing and framing are also going to be restored to 1830s period.

 The Thales Yeaton house is one of three that remain to be restored.  The outcome of the interior is yet to be decided but we will keep you updated!