Ha. Silly me. All it took was a few hours of hard work, and the whole thing seems so much more possible.
Turns out all that tile-bashing we did was a waste. Darwin decided we should bash out the whole concrete floor underneath the tile so that we could know for sure the floor underneath was in good condition.
The jackhammer we planned to borrow decided to winter in North Carolina, so we borrowed a gigantic chisel and a sledgehammer from our always-well-prepared friends D&K. The chisel worked well to break up the concrete, though Darwin says it would've been easier to break up had we not busted out the tile, because then it would've come out in big chunks instead of crumbling and making a huge mess.
But it's all worth it, either way, because of what we found underneath. The original wood floor - at least in the one-third of the bathroom we've uncovered so far - is in excellent condition. Looks like it was painted brown. It's not nearly as beat up as the wood floor underneath the vinyl and plywood in our kitchen. We anticipate possibly having to replace a few boards near the toilet (from underneath the house, they don't look so hot), but otherwise the floor is great!
We like wood floors anyway - even in a bathroom - and heck, using existing stuff is way cheaper than buying a bunch of custom pinwheel tile.
Plus, our friend D informed us that the first house built in Eutaw that incorporated a bathroom into the plans had a wood floor. It's still pretty much intact in Miss Judy's across the street, built in 1904. It has wood floors, a clawfoot tub, vertical beadboard up to the chairrail, and a big window-sill-like moulding around the top of the beadboard.
So basically, now our plan is to copy that. It's probably the closest thing to what our bathroom originally looked like.
But wait - there's more! As I tore down the tile around the bathtub and underneath the window, I made a discovery. The window was once about a foot taller! They probably cut it down or replaced it (not sure which yet) because the window sill would've set right above the edge of the tub.
If possible, we plan to restore the window back to its proper size! We plan to move the clawfoot tub down the wall a foot or two, so it won't interfere with the window anyway.
I've been speed-typing this because we have to leave for Gadsden in about 10 minutes (and I haven't packed), so please overlook crazy mistakes. Here's the gallery of progress we made on the master bathroom yesterday: