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!