1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Man Oh Mantel

Oh boy, today has been a good one. I'll get into the bathroom project tomorrow when we've done a little more work on it. Today I'll tell you about the mantel.

We went to lunch at the Eutaw Diner downtown with a group of fellow Eutawans and decided to walk there since the weather was so nice. Along the way, we passed a house that is being renovated - practically rebuilt because it was in such disrepair - and decided to stop in and say hi.

Now this house is cool. The back half was built in 1817! That makes it one of the oldest (if not the oldest, must research more) house in Alabama! The front half was built in the 1840s. It is in terrible condition, and the new owners are saints and more to restore it. When the owner told us about the 18-inch-wide heart pine boards they found in the upstairs of the 1817 part, I got tears in my eyes. This place is something special and was literally about to fall down.

Well, the first thing I noticed when we walked through the front door was a gorgeous Victorian mantel, obviously not original to the house. As we stood around chatting, the owner mentioned that she was planning to sell the mantel for $200 if we knew anyone who needed it. Forget bargaining, I said, "WE WANT IT!" probably much too hastily.

We did a quick measurement and determined that it will fit on the fireplaces in our house! Hurray!!!!!

If you haven't noticed, I'm excited, ecstatic, thrilled! All the mantels in our house have had their upper parts with mirrors removed. This one coordinates beautifully with the mantels we already have. *SIGH* I'm in heaven!

We may trade it out with the mantel that's in the entry hall because that mantel, while pretty, has previously been chopped up a bit. The top board doesn't match (which I discovered when I started stripping the paint), and the columns on the sides have been moved and probably cut down at some point.

This new mantel will make a fine statement as the first thing you see when you enter our front door. It would also look lovely in the dining room.

The only trouble with the new mantel is a bit of termite damage on a couple of non-decorative, easy-to-replace boards.

We went back over and paid for it, then the owner's sons helped us haul it home. We're planning to strip it (and of course, repair it) before we install it.

Okay, I'm off to help with the bathroom demo some more. One last thing - hurray! Hurray! Hurray!



erilyn said...

ooh, how exciting! looks great

6:11 PM  
Jordana said...

That's wonderful. Although our fireplace is not really in original condition at all anymore, I'd love to some day get a full surround that would make it more like it once was.

8:24 PM  
Chris said...

Beautiful! It makes me wonder if ours used to have an upper portion.

9:15 PM  
John said...

You got a great deal on that mantle! I've seen ones similar to yours go for $500-$800. Congratulations!

7:41 AM  
Patricia W said...

What a wonderful, lucky, bargain! I've seen them sell for so much more money than that.

7:48 AM  
Jocelyn said...

$200 is almost free by Chicago salvage prices- way to go!

I probably would have been the same- hard to act non-chalant when you don't feel non-chalant (for me anyway). How exciting.

2:22 PM  
Kristin said...

Thanks, guys! I thought it sounded like a bargain, too. :) Supposedly, the local antique auction guy advised her to sell it for that price and said it would go for much more if it didn't have that smidge of termite damage. Hey, we're not afraid of a challenge. Not too afraid anyway. ;)

4:55 PM  
halloweenlover said...


What a fantastic find! Congrats!

9:53 AM  

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