How we came to purchase our home.

WPA Photo

A Works Progress Administration photo offers a glimpse of our home's past.

Reproduction Windsor Chair

Finally, a dining room set.

No Power, No Heat.

Our first snow storm and it's aftermath, October, 2011.

Lead Poisoning

Updates to our son's lead levels.

Bit By Bit

My wife's blog on being pregnant, giving birth and raising our first child with all the complications, hardships and joys that life throws our way.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hot Water... Or Lack There Of

When we moved in, our hot water was just OK.  The faucet had to be turned to the hottest possible setting before the water would become warm.  We thought this was due to the age of our oil boiler, being around 50 years in age.  After the October snow storm, the water seemed to go from warm to luke warm and would take a while before reaching that point.

Then, as the weather changes to winter, the heating would come on as expected.  Since the boiler heats not only the hot (I mean luke-warm) water, it also heats the baseboard fed home heating system.  When the heat is on, we had no hot water.

I bit the bullet.  Not wanting to make more of an issue by dismantling our, by most standards, antique oil boiler (and not remembering how to put it back together again as my wife can attest to), I called in our oil supplier to give us a cause.  Turns out, it's normal for the boiler to shut off the hot water while heating the home.  What isn't normal is the non-existent hot water when the heating is off.  

Mental thought:  Great... how much is this going to cost us?

James Warner Home of 1760Surprisingly, the plumber said that this is a common issue and the repair is due to a solitary valve on the exterior of the boiler.  It has a spring on the inside that adjusts the amount of hot water being sent to the faucets based on a predetermined setting on the valve.  With time, the spring becomes encased in calcium or various other minerals.  The buildup retards the movement of the spring locking it in a cold setting.  The plumber added that this will occur again in time.

This repair in it's entirety was $90.40 (completed in March of 2012).  Not bad considering.  

On a side note, my wife asked the plumber the life span of our antique heating appliance.  His response was interesting:  

"It will last longer than you want it to."

Should I be scared?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Memorial Day

It's been quite difficult to update this blog recently.  My pregnant wife and I have been spending many-a-weekend preparing for the arrival of our little boy who is expected June 27.  From the end of March until now, there have been trips to baby stores, family, showers, birth classes, etc. that have taken up plenty of our time without much being spent on home repairs/upgrades.  I am working on small projects and will report when I am able to.  

Recently, however, I made a very small change.  I have been yearning to display some Americanism in my colonial period home.  And when Memorial day approached, I thought this was the time.  As we live in a home from before the Revolutionary period, those living at that time would've been witness to the birth of our nation.  Perhaps displaying an American flag in the late 1770's, when this home was just a baby.  Besides, what colonial period home doesn't need an American flag?  It's like peanut butter and jelly, a combination that just works (for those who aren't allergic).  So, this past Memorial Day, I've decided to put up an American Flag, but not just any American flag.  I wanted a flag that would've originally hung in/on this home, something historical.  So now, the Betsy Ross flag is hanging in our second floor landing window.  If you have the time, wikipedia.com has an article on the history of the flag:  Click Here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Home History - Part I

 Update:  See Home History - Part III for updated information.

My wonderful wife had a week off from work due to spring break in March.  She took that time to research our home's history in Town Hall.  Since government offices closes at 4:00 PM during the working week and is closed on weekends, my wish to peruse the records is nullified as I, like most people, work.

Starting with the most recent owner of record, she was able to trace the history back to the mid-19th century before the records ended due to the town having been incorporated in 1849.

Here is what she was able to decipher from the printed and handwritten documentation in the Town Hall Vault:

Owner (Last Name)     Year     Cost      Notes             
"Us"                  2011     $275,000
Dion, D.              1992
Tinney, D.            1989               Survivor
Tinney, H. & D.       1978
Vezina, E. & L.       1968     $ 12,750                       
Mell, D.              1965     $     10 
Warner, Carl G.       1965               Executor
Warner, J. G.         1934     $  5,000
Warner, Carl G.       1929               Executor/Inherited
Warner, James H.      1898               Inherited
Warner, James           ?                Home's Name Sake
Merriam               1842
End of Known Records

The owners of our home varied greatly.  There were numerious instances where the home was sold for $1 to family members (or $5,000 as the case may be) or as part of debt settlements throughout the later 19th and early 20th centuries.  The above list is abbreviated.  

According to the folklore from the prior owner and other documentation (like the tacky brass mail order plaque she screwed to the exterior wall), our home was "built" by James Warner in 1760.

If I ever get a chance, or time, I'll have to dig up some more information...