As some of you may
know, Karl and I have bought
property in Hamilton, NY. We became the happy owners on
February 17, 2006 after about 2 years of searching for the
right type of house and location. Our thanks go to Brian
and Jeanette Wright for sending us the original real estate
link to the property and helping to make it all possible!
Most of all, to my life long
friends, Nina and Bob for their support and encouragement....not
to mention the hot showers, warm bed, and good food on those
long cold work days! It wouldn't have happened without you...THANKS!!!
The above photo shows the original
part of the house, a post and beam structure built ca. 1840-1850.
It faces east.
This photo shows the south side
where the kitchen and mudroom/garage are located.
An unfortunate addition is the
bump out on the back section. This was added as a makeshift
garage probably in the 1950's but will definitely be removed
to improve the whole appearance of the building. We hope
to install lots of windows on this side.
The left hand side contains
the kitchen and sun porch and was added a little later but
was also built as a post and beam structure. The porch,
originally open, has been glassed in more recently. Behind
the kitchen/sun porch section is another addition which
then creates an "L" shape of the whole building.
Although many people advised us against renovating and were
very negative about our plans (those with no appreciation
of the underlying historic structure) we have committed
ourselves to bring life back into what will be a BEAUTIFUL
home! Here are some interesting features of the old house:
The old post and beam structure with pegs as seen in upstairs
Unique front entry door. There
are two of these doors both off the front sun porch into
the kitchen and living room
Wrought iron door latch for bedroom
door upstairs. I just love this!
at this wonderful surprise-beautiful wide board paneling
in future master bedroom
There is a barn and chicken
coop included on the 47 acres. We are both very excited
about restoring the home to as much an original state as
is practical and comfortable and have discovered lots of
interesting bits of information about the property already.
I will post photos of our progress as we move along......a
visual journal of our adventures!
Here is an aerial view of the
1859 Madison County Map
This is the property as on the
1859 Madison County map. I was fortunate enough to find
and buy this section of the map from an auction on Ebay.The
name listed appears to be E. Brainard. From what I was able
to find out the Brainards/Brainerds
originally came from Connecticut and were one of the early
families to settle in the Hamilton area, as early as 1799.
By the time this map was drawn there were quite a few
Brainard/Brainerd families in the surrounding area.
I am excited about trying to find out who actually built
the house, could it have been the E.Brainard list on the
The Poolville Lake shown on
both maps was the site of early mills and other industries
established by members of the Poole family. For more historical
information check out the Madison County site.
On to the present
schedule of events!
17, 2006-We had
the closing in Oneonta on Friday at 1:00PM and went directly
to the property from there. I started cleaning out the mudroom
into piles of "stuff"-metal, burnable trash, recycables,
etc. Karl meanwhile assessed the furnace and water situation
of which neither one worked! So here it was freezing cold
and we had no heat or water! We worked all day Saturday
and Sunday trying to make space to sort the accumulation
of junk we found.
24-27- We knocked down the main chimmney in the kitchen
as well as the bathroom walls. We wanted to enlarge the
kitchen and removed the awkwardly located bathroom.
started the removal of the plaster and lath in the main
front room. Upon careful inspection we were able to knock
out some of the small bedroom walls because they were nonbearing
walls. By doing this we really expanded the size and light
in the living room, aka as my room whereas the mudroom will
be known as Karl's room!
This shows the
entire length of the living room opened(approx. 28'x16')
Now for the ceiling to come down. Thanks for the help here
Brian and Jeanette!
All this lath, plaster and rubble
should be gone in a week or so!
10-13-Another cold weekend
and lots of plaster dust! This time we moved on to the den
which will be our future bathroom (not soon enough!) and
then we worked on the two tiny bedrooms which we combined
to make a future master bedroom.
This wall in
the photo on the right was taken out to make one bedroom
instead of the two small ones.
16-20-Does it ever get
warm in Hamilton???We had more snow and bitter cold weather.
Thank goodness for our place of refuge at "Nina's Comfort
Inn".The accomodations were great there!
Our son, Karl and
his fiance' Heather, came
up on Sunday and helped with knocking out remaining plaster
walls, shoveling out more of the plaster and lath debris
and removing piles of brick. At this point we looked things
over and were busy taking stock of what we have done, need
to do and are able to do! We have a plan!
25-26-We stayed home a weekend to help
celebrate young Karl's birthday!
31-April 3-We removed the pile of debris
from the south side of the house and Karl built a temporary
basement door that was missing. He also removed lots of
junk from the basement with young Karl's help, cut down
trees and fallen branches. Things are starting to look better
inside and out!Ae
The view looking north from the back
of the house.
7-10-Karl removed old hot air heating
ducts from under floors and in the basement, knocked out
the old cast iron vent pipe in the center of the kitchen,
installed the drain pipes for the future bathroom and we
now have a flushable toilet ! This is all wonderful progress
although we have no phots to show for all his efforts in
the basement! He also hauled out the old appliances to the
scrap metal pile and hopefully we can get it all removed.
I raked more of the yard and cleared up lots of fallen branches
from the front lawn. In the process I discoved perennials
and bulbs popping out. There is spring in Hamilton after
15-16-Easter weekend at home with the
We got a lot done over these last few days! The weather
was great during the week so we were able to get the barn
down. Scott Davis, of S. E. Davis Construction Company,
helped us out a lot by getting the driveway ready for us,
helping to pull down the barn and clearing lots of plaster,
rocks, concrete steps and branches. Thanks for the help
on the roof taking stuff out of attic of barn before we
tear it down.
well deserved wy!
More preparations before demolition. Back view of barn.
The tree had to be cut down to allow the barn to fall freely.
It took a bit of tugging with chains and Scott's truck before
she would collapse. I think it would have withstood another
couple of years before coming down on it's own.
as a pancake. The old corn chopper on the right that was
in the barn will soon be gone as well.
shot shows the pine tree that we cut down. All the branches
are gone and the driveway is open. The backyard of the house
is starting to shape up.
While Karl and
Scott were busy with the barn I was in the chicken coop
shoveling out years of accumulated chicken poop. When anyone
asks what I did on my 59th birthday I won't hesitate for
one minute to remember!
The smell started
getting to me after a while and my bones started aching
so we had some champagne to celebrate my birthday. YOU ARE
a REDNECK when you look like this!!!!
5-9 Karl took
a vacation day added to our regular weekend so we could
get more done. He started by creating a wider entry for
the driveway with the tractor and adding corner fence posts
to make it more noticeable from the main road.
entry steps needed repair so we had to fix them for the
12-15 A very busy Mother's Day weekend!
Our son, Karl, came up to give us a much needed hand. The
weather was perfect on Friday and Saturday(rainy) for burning
lots of scrap wood from the old barn and the small chicken
coop that we knocked down. Lots of cleanup work again!
helped us clean out the barn and knock down the ugly garage
19-22 This weekend I hope to power
wash some parts of the inside of the house. Old houses stink
partly due to areas where mice have built nests and urine
has soaked into the wood. I hope lots of Clorox and water
will eliminate some of these stinky areas!