The renovations are complete! I still want to do some before and after pictures but for now, here is what the house looks like at this point:
Time to introduce my new favorite part of the house! A sun porch! When we bought the house, a back porch had been added. Well, it wasn’t so much a porch as a raised concrete slab with some fake beams holding up a little section of roof. Now, I like porches, but this one had two glaring negatives about it. One, was the huge slab of concrete that someone had poured over the concrete porch floor. It was like a stoop…on the porch. Rendering the majority of the porch completely useless! It was awkward, and it was ugly. This strange mini porch slab was one of the few things I truly hated about the house when we purchased it. It had to go. The second problem? My house is older than the town in is in, and as a result, the roads have been reconfigured over the years. The lot is a corner lot with the front of the house on a dead-end street, and the back porch along the other road, that didn’t use to be there. As a result, everyone thought the back door was the front door, due to the proximity to the road.
So, I knew this needed to look less prominent, but how? My idea was to screen it in. I like being outside, but I abhor bugs. So, a screen porch would offer us more entertaining space and a place to go to get away from those irritating, biting creatures. I was cool with this plan, and surely no one would mistake my back door for the front door when the only porch that remained was the L-shaped one in the front? Well, my dad had a better idea. It took me awhile to warm up to it, but he was right. He thought that we should just close it in, but add a lot of windows and make it a sun porch. This would give us more living area throughout the year, and look better than a screen porch. My sister wanted to add the french doors, as neither of us like sliders.
I mean, I thought this all would be nice. I didn’t realize just how much I would love it! It adds so much to the house, makes the front door more defined, and gives us additional living space. Plus, that weird, uneven concrete stoop is no more. So, even though, I wasn’t completely sold on the sun porch to begin with, now… I say, it’s alright.
So much is happening!
I know there has been a distinctive lack of updates recently. It has been a busy month full of family gatherings, graduations, and a wedding (Congrats to N & B!). So we have been having a little mini break away from the house, where we have been helping my dad build and decorate a chicken coop and attending these functions. Not a lot of progress has been made since the termite treatment was completed earlier this month. I promise a photo update soon, but since I have a virus of some sort, it is going to have to wait.
Meanwhile, here is something to read from the former owner of the house, a clipping about wolf hybrids in WV. After all, he did have a wolf hybrid. It has some random numbers scribbled on it, as most things from the house. I blurred out anything that resembled phone numbers, just to be safe!
I’ve been promising an update on the addition for a while, so I guess I am finally getting to it. The addition is 16×8, and is set to be the master bathroom and a much larger closet. The closet in the master bedroom is only about 12 inches deep. I plan to put shelves in it for shoes and handbags, but I do need somewhere for clothes! Before the addition, we only had one bathroom that is a tiny, 5×7 size one. We just needed more space, so we covered one of the odd, small porches and added the addition to the back of the house, making the back of the house even with the second bedroom.
The odd porch had no door onto it. I believe it was a remnant of a bigger porch on that side of the house, that someone enclosed to add a bedroom and bathroom sometime in the past. There is a large window on the porch, which we plan to turn into a doorway. This porch does have the original beadboard ceiling, which I plan on keeping and leaving exposed.
The existing porch will essentially a hallway, with a 6×3 closet to one side. Then the bathroom will be 16×8. I also want to put a linen closet for extra storage in the master bath. I am still working on the layout for the bathroom, I would like to do a separate tub and shower, with the tub either under the window or on that far wall near the window. Then of course, a vanity and toilet. It is because I am still trying to figure out the layout that we just had the addition roughed in. Hopefully I will be able to come up with some sort of final plan soon!
Do you remember when I met the town historian of that fateful Saturday, and found a wealth of history about my house? Well one of the most interesting documents was the house history compiled by the architects that helped to make Pratt’s historical District. Because my house is “pivotal” to the historic designation, they wrote up everything they could gather about it, along with the other “pivotal” historic houses in the district. Here is a copy of the document from the archive, entitled The Trimble Farm.
For many years the tract of land between Pratt and Paint Creek belonged to the Trimble family. Much of the area was put into farm land and beside it lay the old road to Hansford just north of the acreage and parallel to the C&O Railway. This county road crossed the Old Iron Paint Creek Bridge (now gone) and the vestiges of the wagon tracks can still be located on the Hansford side of the creek.
The early dwelling of the Trimble family was located on the east side of Paint Creek and was called “The Carrol House”. The grandparents of (today’s family) Osman Stockton Trimble and Jeanetta (White) Trimble bought the two-story frame house from Van B. Hanna and his wife Lucy. Later the house, unoccupied, burned and no sign of it remains today.
So the Trimble family originally lived in another house. I have never seen the wagon tracks that they mention in this document, but I’m not really certain where the old bridge was located, either. I’ll have to track that down and see if they are still there! I am skeptical about that, though.
Up in the village, however, near where Ferry Street became the original country road, James Trimble built a frame dwelling where many later generations grew up. The house still stands where it was built and it has kept its original design. It is an “L” shape with the lower end of the “L” facing the road. This gable end is covered with fish scale shingles at the top, and below contains a beautiful, small three-window bay that is capped with a decorative metal roof. Each side of this facade is flanked by matching ends of porches — the west side a very small porch and the east a part of the major porch that extends along the inner side of the “L”. The white-painted house (now with a composition roof) is in good condition and at present time is a rental property.
Behind the dwelling the land slopes down into a beautiful park-like area shaded by huge elm trees and extending several acres to the west. The remains of the Paint Creek railroad spur curls around the property and has become an access road to the lower end of the village. When Mr. Trimble sold the land for this railroad spur, he required the Company to build a wooden fence between the right-of-way and his home in order to protect his family and small children.
Unfortunately, this land had been changed considerably since this document was written. I believe most of this railroad spur was demolished when another house was put behind my house. I have not seen any remains of it. Also, there is no longer a wooden fence around the property.
This tract of land from Ferry Street to Paint Creek, properly called the “Trimble Addition”, has been divided into lots and now is filled with neat, modern homes. No vestige of the old frame home on the Creek remains, but according to one source, some of the bricks from the place were used in the construction of part of the houses that were built in the addition by members of the family. The remaining members still living in the village are Osman Trimble, Margaret Trimble Jarrett, and Jeanetta Trimble Montgomery
Obviously, there is a lot of information about the house in this document, gathered from descendents of the original builder of the home. Unfortunately, they have all passed away in the 20 years or so since this document was written.
I forgot to upload this picture along with the others. I was just going to leave it off. I wasn’t sure if anyone was really interested in seeing a large drainage ditch with stuff over it. Honestly, it’s not exactly picturesque. However, since part of this blog is actually about the projects, I decided to keep it.
See, in the town there is a large drainage ditch running along the side street. The street is really more of a glorified alley, but whatever. Most of the other houses in the neighborhood have covered theirs over, but left some sort of pipe or drainage system intact. This seems to work well in the town, no water stands in the yard of those that have done this properly, so we decided to do it, too. Now, we happen to have this huge piece of pipe leftover from a drainage issue on another piece of property that was exactly the right size for the piece of concrete pipe that is buried under the driveway. We plan to buy more pipe slowly and fill in until we can connect the pipe to the pipe running under the main street. Because our land is uneven, the pipe starts out this big and will slowly taper down to a piece about 10 inches in diameter.
Eventually, we plan to cover it with dirt, but right now, this has become our area for all biodegradable/non-harmful materials. Such as the lath and the branches. For awhile, it looked like Vlad the Impaler lived there, as the lath was sticking straight up like stakes. We soon fixed that, safety first!