Monday, December 24, 2012

Time goes by....

Well, it has been some time since I have been here to post a new blog.  Fall is my most favorite time of year and it certainly was a busy, enjoyable one! 
We have continued to work on the house through the autumn months.  Work on the kitchen has progressed quite a bit.  The floors have gone through the refinishing process, cabinets are done, and any plaster that needed restoration has been done and painted as well.  The beehive oven and surrounding brick have been brought back to life and the cook stove, which we decided to keep, has been reset and we are working on cleaning it up.  That is where we are at for the moment.  We will move on to counter tops and a new "old" sink to continue with the period style look.  The last phase of the kitchen will be to expose the beams in the ceiling and put up reproduction lighting that suits the house.  We will put a dishwasher in, one of those evil, modern must haves (especially with 3 young girls! The dishes do pile up!) but our hope is to "hide" it in one of the lower cabinets, making it disappear all together. 

We also have just about completed the upper main hallway with plaster repair and paint as well as new lighting fixtures. The ceiling will need to be re-done at some point, but for now the current sheet rock will stay.   The side entry hall, the one we use most often, is just about done as well.  The floor will need a little attention and the door will be getting a new handle.  We will be using a reproduction thumb latch combo to give it a more "1800's" look.  The light in that hallway has also been replaced.  It is a nice little entry way to walk into now, very warm and welcoming. 

Work on the kitchen will continue through the winter.  Some plans to restore the plaster in the down stairs guest room and the girls playroom are also on the list.  I will post pictures soon to show the progress, as I have taken quite a few!!

Now that Christmas is upon us, we have once again decked the halls and are enjoying the house room by room with all of the joys of the seasons decorations.  For the second year we have used berries and rose hips from around the yard to decorate the mantles and garlands.  Our tree sits proudly in the living room, cut down with love by us at Frederickson's Tree farm right here in Monmouth.  The house will swell with family for Christmas gatherings and will welcome in friends who stop by to say hello and spread cheer.  We are constantly reminded how special this home is and are always thankful to not only be the proud owners, but the fortunate care takers of such a wonderful piece of history.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

The Webb Family

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pictures of the past

As we come to a close on the summer months we tend to reflect on the season filled with vacations, family fun, the smell of the ocean breeze, BBQ's, swimming, fishing and of course all the wonderful flavors of ice cream we tried to assist us with keeping cool (or so we say!).

I have reflected on all of these things, but I also have some other unique memories of this summer.  The gardens were all in full bloom here at the Clough house.  We did a lot of work on the side yard, the front of the house, and started in the backyard as well where the old shed was removed.  The flowers and plants we discovered and were lucky enough to enjoy were incredible.  Roses, pinks, lillies, Lupin, columbine, and so many more that it would take a life time to list them all.  The snowball tree at the end of the driveway was one of my favorite surprises and I also enjoyed the number of flowers and plants that I have yet to identify as well.

Inside the home we have been slowly working on the Kitchen.  This will be a project that will take some time as we are carefully stripping the tiles and scraping and sanding the wood floor that we found underneath.  In a future post I will show pictures of the progress, but for now that has become the largest project. 

We also have been incredibly lucky to have been in contact with David Johnson.  His parents originally purchased the Clough house back in the 1950's.  The home was in terrible condition to say the least when they bought it and they began the daunting task of restoring it.  David has been kind enough to share diaries that his mother, Elizabeth Johnson, kept while working and living in the house.  She even had a diary about the grounds around the Clough house and all it the beautiful flowers and plants that I spoke of earlier in this post.  Her diaries were an amazing treasure to have as they helped us to piece together so much about our fantastic home.  Best of all are the pictures.  David has shared his family pictues of the home as they found it and through the years.  How amazing it was to receive those pictures and to see the pictures of the past.  Not only are we able to see how far along the house has already come in the 60+ years the Johnson family owned it, but we also see the incredible undertaking of what they accomplished when they brought the house back to life.  The pictures are treasures for us to have and we have learned so much just by looking through each one.

We are proud to continue with the efforts of restoring and caring for this house with so much character and history.  Please take a moment to view some of the pictures yourself so that you may also appreciate them.  A heartfelt "Thank You!" goes out to Mr. David Johnson for the pictures, diaries and all of the wonderful information he has shared about the house with us!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer is upon us!

Summer is finally upon us and we have taken advantage of the beautiful weather we have been having to work a little bit around the grounds of the home.  We have been working on the new gardens at the front of the house as well as the gardens surrounding the property.  An old shed had to be removed for insurance purposes but has now been transformed into a wonderful sitting area and garden.  Sitting high up on the hill we get beautiful breezes that gracefully blow through the open windows and the smell from the pinks, roses and many other flowers float through the house.  We continue to do work inside the home as well.  The main hallway on the first level has been repainted and the plaster has been restored where needed.  The large front door has a mix of old slide locks and new deadbolts.  We are currently replacing the newer hardware with original hardware.  We were lucky to find old, original hardware that had been salvaged from another antique home that will match what was once on the door many moons ago.  We are also working on replacing doorknobs within the house with thumb latches.  It is a slow process, but a rewarding one to return the house back to its roots.  The summer will hold many gatherings with family along with a lot more work inside and out at our wonderful, old home.  I will continue to post pictures and the progress we are making.  Enjoy the summer!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

It has been a long winter, as it usually is in New England.  We enjoyed our first Christmas in the house along with a few Birthday gatherings and other celebrations.  Restorations  slowed due to the cold temperatures and busy holiday season, but now that is all behind us and spring has sprung!  This year our first focus in on a better, more efficient heating system.  I admit it isn't my favorite step, but a necessary one.  I can't really even consider it to be a part of "restoration", but in the long run it will be something that the house will benefit from and so will we.  The first winter in a new house is always interesting and heating a house this large we knew would be a challange.  It wasn't terrible, but the systems are dated and need to be replaced so that will be the first step this spring.
We also have started to lay out plans for the second bathroom (see pics below) that will be going in upstairs.  This will be a long project.  We will be working very hard to make the modern need for a bathroom fit into a house built over 208 years ago.  We will take our time and do it right.  The plaster will be restored and each step of the process will be done in a way that we in the end have a bathroom that fits the integrity of the house.
The best thing about spring so far has been the gardens!  We have been lucky enough to not only purchase a fantastic historic home, but the gardens on the property are amazing as well.  It is a bit overwhelming the amount of work that needs to be done however.  Years of being uncared for have left things over grown and in some cases a tangled mess.  We will be doing a lot of work ourselves, but we also feel it is important to have a professional landscaper get involved as well to help educate us on the best way to care for some of the gardens.  We are looking forward to seeing everything in full bloom soon!
The old shed on the property has come down and we are slowly working through the piles of wood deciding on what we will keep and what will go to the burn pile.  Many of the boards are old and appear to be possibly from the old barn on the property.  Not all of the boards are in good shape though so they must be rid of.  A few trinket here and there we found in the shed and unearthed along the way.  Old license plates, insulators, bowls and buckets.  All things that were once used for what seemed to be gardening purposes and decoration for the shed.

We took some time to visit the Clough plot in town and to take some pictures of the names on the stone to document the Clough family.  At Christmas we set a wreath at the stone to honor the family who built our home. 
We look forward to this new year and what we will accomplish with the house.  For us this is really the start of things.  We have settled in nicely and have already begun to bring the house back to life, and we are excited to see what new things we can discover along the way.