Thursday, August 28, 2008

History Mystery at the Hollow

The APVA restoration crew discovered the initials"JHM" carved into a piece of window trim while working on the only intact 1763-1764 original window at the Hollow. Unfortunately, the trim piece was attached to the window in the 19th century, as evidenced by the cut nails used. Cheryl Sheperd, the architectural historian for the Hollow, was consulted. Her preliminary research suggests that the initials might belong to John H. Marshall, born to Elizabeth Markham Marshall at nearby Montblanc in 1866. She will further research the topic and keep us posted as to her findings.
The crew has also installed heart poplar siding to the West gable end of the Hollow. This involved setting corner trim and cutting the chimney stones against the wall back so the siding can be tucked behind them and then mortared tight. They used the original siding still intact on the Southwest corner of the Hollow and the early nail holes to reproduce the siding pattern that will be used over the whole house.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cole-Diggs beautification

On August 21, 2008, Karl and Mike of the restoration department installed a new crawl space hatch in the courtyard of the Cole-Diggs house. The old hatch appeared to be pre- WW-II vintage, judging from it's old cut nails and the circular-sawn heart-pine construction. It had deteriorated very badly. It was no longer capable of holding paint, nor was it adequately supporting the masonry above it, as evidenced by the collapse of three of the interior bricks above it. The new hatch is all pressure-treated 3" by 9" pine, joined by mortise and tenon. Jon is still working at Smith's Fort. He has finished all of the exterior painting except for the cornice. He has also cleaned the garden fences, to give the plantation a clean, well kept appearance.