Treasure Hunting

Although our house has yet to reveal the hidden stash of gold coins I suspect are lurking in one of these walls, it does occasionally reveal some other “treasures” of sorts. This archeological wall-dig gave us quite a few surprise treasures. One being….

Wallpaper from the 1800’s! Apparently they didn’t know Laura’s laundry softener method of removing wallpaper so they furred out the entire wall, then lathed and plastered right over it all. It’s a surprisingly contemporary design for being 100+ years old, a light green-grey with squiggly lines and little leaves. Only a little bit survived behind the wall but we may try to press and frame what’s left.

Next up, slate shims. So bizarre. Lots of skinny pieces of slate (the 3rd floor slate mansard roof was first added in the 1900 renovation) were used between the wood window header and brick above. Here’s just one piece, nail holes and all. The rest of the slate we left in place until we take out the window for safety’s sake.

Last but not least, curly scripted handwriting on the original plaster-on-brick wall. Unfortunately even after staring for 10 minutes I couldn’t make out the message. CSI technology could possibly help.

I think it says, “If you can read this you ripped out my plaster-on-lath wall. Seriously, what’s up with that?”

So that’s the treasure. Definitely buried in a vertical sort-of-way. And here’s the bare wall. Most of the bricks on the left of the window are actually in great shape – at least compared to the right hand side which looks like someone gnawed at it. We think perhaps the masons mixed in some exterior grade brick on that side? Also, check out that double header?

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