Monday, June 29, 2009

Surry Surprise-Bacon's Castle Style

The Restoration department has been busy at Bacon's Castle in Surry County, scraping, reglazing, and painting windows and exterior trim. When Jon Miano removed a loose piece of trim from a window on the porch tower he was unpleasantly surprised to discover the entire window frame was substantially compromised through wet rot. A close examination of the mortice-and-tenon frame revealed it was made out of heart poplar. There are no discernable tool marks left, due in part to its poor condition. The header has a paint ghost and a line where earlier trim had been attached to it. The existing trim on the window matches the 1854 wing in style and material, indicating that the poplar frame may indeed be quite early, since it was on the house long enough before the 1850's period trim to acquire the ghost. The department will replace the frame reproducing the early joinery, but using pressure treated pine instead of heart poplar material. This is in keeping with our policy to only use period replacement materials where it actually can be detected, preserving that scarce resource.