Wednesday, August 6, 2008

And Now... The Back of the House

I thought I would use this post to give some feedback on a couple of comments that were left on the blog this week. The first, from Charley, is a request for a picture of the back of the house since such views are rare. As you can see from the picture below, it isn't exactly the houses best side. And I should note a couple of deviations/alterations from the original design. First, the two windows in the dormer should be closer together, but are a few feet farther apart in order to accommodate the rear chimney. In the original design, the chimney would be in the back bedroom closet. As for alterations, there was a window just to the right of the back door, but it was removed during a recent kitchen remodel. Although it would be nice to have all of the windows intact, this particular one was taking up valuable real estate in a very small kitchen, so I'm not complaining too much.

The second comment comes from fellow Dr Who fan and Marsden owner The Master, and she writes:
I also own a Marsden! Mine is in very bad shape, it was almost condemned before I bought it. Most of it's beautiful woodwork/bookcases/windows/hardware has been removed or updated to a more modern look. What were they thinking! I have just started plans to restore it, but was lost until I found your blog. You made me realize this house still has hope and she could be returned back to her original, unique, self.

I would love to hear from you, share some pictures, and maybe even do some brainstorming for ideas.

Great to hear from another Marsden owner. Sorry to hear that it has been the victim of a horrible remuddle, but it sounds like you're willing to do what it takes to bring it back to its former glory. Although I haven't posted pictures of every part of the house, there should be enough in what is posted to give you an idea of what your house was like when it was built. As fitting an Arts and Crafts house, everything is very simple, with very little detail, so restoring things like window and door frames or baseboards should be relatively easy compared to restoring similar parts of a Victorian. Other details such as doors or built-ins would vary from house to house, so just try to stay within the right time period and style and you should be fine. If you have any other questions, just post a comment. And good luck!

And if anyone else wants to see a particular part of the house or any other requests, just let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Monday, March 31, 2008

More Treasures from the Box

Now that I've come out of hibernation after a nasty winter, I decided to go through some more of the pictures that the original owners of the house left behind. I had actually been putting it off for a while due to the frustration of not knowing much about the people in the photos. Sure, I could take some educated guesses as to some of their identities, but most eluded me. Dating the photos was problematic as well. If I knew more about turn-of-the-20th-century clothing, it might be easier. Fortunately one single picture became the piece of the puzzle I had been looking for.

I had a hunch that in this group of women workers outside the Columbus Pharmacal Co. was Estella Ankrom, daughter of the house's original owner (and eventual owner herself), but the picture is too small (2x3) to see much detail. Until, of course, I scanned it. It was an epiphany. There was someone I recognized from several other pictures. There was Estella (third from the right, bottom row).
So now that I've found Estella, I thought I would share some more photos of her.

I have no clue who the 2 young gentlemen are, but Estella seems pretty pleased with herself.
Another photo from the same day. Presumably the 2nd young man took this photo and the other young lady the previous one.Here she is posing next to a sundial on the Oval at The Ohio State University. This is probably before the Ankroms bought the house.
Estella hanging out by the pool with friends. Its possible that this is the pool at Olentangy Park, for many years one of the largest pools in the United States.There's not enough information in the picture to tell where it was taken, but it could be the park again. The location of this picture is a bit easier to identify since its the front of the house. I would guess that the picture dates from the late 20s or early 30s. It's the only picture I have of the four members of the family together.An interesting bit of trivia: my wife and I first viewed the house on March 15th last year. That was 20 years to the day that Estella's obituary ran in the local paper. And we took possession of the house only 2 days before her 119th birthday.