Skip to main content

A Surprise Visitor

A Fenn family member (by marriage) came to see us a few days ago. My husband announced her sarcastically as a "blog fan". This was after he walked out of the House to try and scare her from taking any photos. After, he asked me what is it exactly that I am doing that has people caring so much to call, email, and stop by.

You see, he is still not 100 percent sold on the idea of restoring the House, even if we do it in pieces. In his mind, the House is perfect as it is, and he simply doesn't want to do anything that doesn't need to be done. I agree with that - only the squeaky wheels should get replaced. But, they should be replaced with what was there originally, right?

So, "blog fans", keep coming over and persuading him that we are doing a great thing for this and all future generations.

And Kelly, it was very nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Hi,
    I think your husband is thinking with his wallet which is hard not to do. Your house is a work of art and an irriplaceable representation of the times it was built in. We live in the hisoric area of Ridgewood NJ and it's wonderful how people here took run down homes and made them and the naughborhood come alive again.
    If no one protects these structures they get lost forever, as is happening here in the next town over. Theres an amazing and mysterious english cottage style mansion I was shocked to learn would be torn down soon. The owners who's family lived there for 100 years couldnt afford the upkeep and were forced to sell to an institure next door which plans to tear it down for a parking lot and squar buidling. I'm an artist so i went there and took as many pictures as i culd of the details to preserve some of the beauty. I also plan to do a series of Portraits of the house and parts of it help people see what can be lost. So carry on replenishing your house!
    By the way, some time around 1997 my husband and I were shown a house in montclair that if I remember correctly seems a lot like yours. The basement had arched stone passagways and some were bricked up. I think there was still a huge pile of coal down there. I dont remember much but it had a small yard and a really nice attic space i would have turned ito an studio/office. My husband thought it was too spooky and out of our price range at the time. Could this have been your house?

    -D.L. Goldman

  2. Hm, not sure, since the passageways in our basement are not bricked up, but sheet-rocked. And I think they had oil-based heating system for a long time, since the old tank we dug up from a front yard was in a pretty bad shape.

    But, thanks for the words of encouragement. Really appreciate the vote of confidence.

    My husband is really mostly discouraged by the cost, yes. Because of the nature of these old homes, the contractors in the area are very specialized, and very expensive. The encouraging thing is that these days they are actually willing to work with us, and that is nice. And we also get a pick of contractors we want to work with, as opposed to who is available.

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing your work.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

We found the "missing" house

Thanks to one of our readers, Robert, who identified the house on South Mountain Avenue.

I almost crashed into a tree while looking at it and can't believe I never noticed it before. It was right there. I mean, it looks exactly the same as in this photo. Right?

The funny thing is that I drive by the house almost daily. Which goes to show you just how many things go unnoticed in our lives...

History - Part I: Who was Harry Fenn?

The Cedars, or Henry (Harry) Fenn residence, was built in 1885. Harry Fenn was a watercolor artist and an illustrator. He was born in Richmond, Surrey, England in 1845. He first trained as a wood engraver before embarking on a career as a painter and print maker.

In 1860's, Fenn settled in the United States after coming to see the Niagara Falls. After spending six years in the U.S., he left to pursue further art studies in Italy. He returned to illustrate his first book, “Snow Bound,” written by John Greenleaf Whittier. The success of this first illustration project lead to more work and Fenn’s second book, “Ballads of New England.” These two books were the first illustrated gift books of their kind in the United States. They were important milestones in the history of American book making and created great renown for the artist.

In the 1870's Fenn traveled extensively around the country for numerous illustration projects. One such trip brought him to western North Carolina for …

Kids Bath: Electrical - DONE

Electrical - DONE, TOO! Yay!

However, he opened a hole in the wall in the wrong place above the mirror, so now that needs to be patched up tomorrow. That means an extra day tacked on. We really wanted it to be finished tomorrow. We are already 4 days over schedule. Ugh.

I. Need. This. Job. To. End.