Surprises in the Walls

Written June 3, 2012

Joel was vacuuming the future master bathroom very thoroughly, meaning really getting into the open plaster areas to get out as much debris as possible. (Joel LOVES to vacuum!) He noticed something red in the wall – very uncommon amid our soot covered plaster – so he reached in and pulled out this:

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Still smiling after all these years!!

When Leith was tearing down part of the upstairs bathroom, he opened the chase to find this petrified tube of caulking.

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Not quite as cute as the little guy above, but some plumber at some point must have had a good laugh while leaving his little time capsule behind.

And the electrician, Mike, uncovered this treat.

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This is an opening for a pocket door. It runs behind the fireplace and would have held a door that would have slid across this opening between the dining and living rooms.

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This opening is actually wider than the pocket door would be so at some point the door was removed and the opening was widened (No, we didn’t find any pocket doors in the basement stash.) We had actually suspected that this opening wasn’t original because the stain job on the wood encasing it is slightly different than the rest of the house. We haven’t quite sorted out what to do with this pocket-door find yet. We do love them, but at the same time, we love the wide openness between the dining and living rooms. Will keep you posted!

I recently complained to Joel that I hadn’t yet seen any of the HUGE nails everyone was talking about that helped out with balloon construction. I had only seen this one.img 0546

So he ran into the basement and brought back up this one. Now THAT’S a nail!

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And last, you’ve heard of wallpapering on top of wallpaper and painting on top of wallpaper and wallpapering on top of paint, yes? We’ve also found several examples of putting new walls over old walls, that is, a second layer of plaster and lath atop a previous layer or, in more recent years, drywall on top of plaster and lath. Interesting.

When Joel was taking down the wall between the kitchen and den, he climbed up into the ceiling chase (there were also a fair number of dropped ceilings) and found a little patch of some very old wallpaper. Here’s a picture of him peeking in, followed by one of the wallpaper.

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We think we’re pretty close to being done with finding wall surprises since talk is starting to shift to wall repair, but you never know!


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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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