Bringing the Lodge back to Life

The “Lodge” is by far the most interesting building on the Neebor Lee property. It was first constructed sometime in the mid to late-1800s as a playhouse on the Broadview Mansion property, complete with a stage for children’s puppet shows. On its roof was a wood platform, perhaps used for stargazing.  In 1903, this 25…

Who is John Ramsay?

Today, on this Presidents’ Day holiday, my wife was inspecting the daffodils that are emerging along the edge of our front porch when she discovered a mysterious copper plaque attached to a small concrete block. This concrete block was sitting next to the last stone of the stone walkway leading up to the Neebor Lee’s…

Windows and Stones

The construction of the new workshop building continues, and so far everything is looking good. The foundation, which was not present beneath the original 113 year old structure, has been completed and the framing of the new structure is nearly complete.  In parallel, I continue to work on window restoration, soliciting the help of my daughter for some…

Summer Cleaning, Summer Construction

There has been quite a bit of activity here at the Neebor Lee House as renovations proceed in earnest.  Work in particular has centered on the former Mason Lodge.  It began first with drying out the Lodge’s basement, which was subject to periodic flooding whenever there was a big rainstorm.  That basement space was important element in…

The Summer Construction Season is almost Here!

We’re now well into spring which means that the summer construction season is almost here.  That doesn’t mean that we’ve been idle this past winter.   We spent a large part of the last four months renovating the home’s third floor bathroom. That involved removing the bathroom’s old rusted shower stall and clunky vanity, repairing plaster walls, removing…

“The Minute Men”

We’re still coming across surprising finds in the Neebor Lee  house more than two years after moving into the house. Yesterday I took a short break from renovating the home’s third floor bathroom to help my wife organize a walk-in closet occupying a small room located next to the bathroom.  In moving a floor to ceiling shelving unit to create…

Bathroom Renovation Update

In a prior post titled “Waylaid Plans”, I mentioned that a purchase of a vintage claw foot tub became the catalyst for a bathroom renovation that was not in any of my near-turn projects for the house. I’ve initiated those renovations and I’m happy to provide this update. The third-floor bathroom renovations began with the removal of the room’s old…

Waylaid Plans

I had not planned out any specific winter projects.  I figured that I would spend the upcoming months removing old wallpaper from several of the rooms in the Main House at a very leisurely pace and then painting those rooms to freshen them up a bit. I even purchased a steamer to  facilitate wallpaper removal. This…

A Change of Season

Fall is here, which means that the 2015 construction season is just about over. It seemed to have gone by very fast, and I had not accomplished as much as I had planned. Apparently the to-do list that I compiled at the end of last winter was a bit too ambitious. In addition, life managed to get in…

Transformation

For its first 118 years, the Neebor Lee house was a modest two-story farmhouse that was occupied by farmers, tenant farmers or servants of the Gumbes family. In 1903, however, that would change. On the last day of January of that year, Charles Wetherill Gumbes, Civil War veteran, surgeon, country doctor and owner of the…

When it Rains, it Pours.

I had been saying for the past week that we needed the rain. The lawn had been turning brown, which is something that shouldn’t happen in the Spring. We had gone weeks without rain, and when it was finally forecasted, my wife and I were elated. We had just planted a vegetable garden, as well as fruit trees…

The Wonder Heater

I think it appropriate that on this Memorial Day I introduce a find that I made in the basement of the Mason Lodge. What I first believed was a 55-gallon drum turned out the be a vintage 1943 coal burning stove. It had the appearance of a 55-gallon metal drum because the stove components were actually…