Our first summer test.

Well summer is just around the corner. It got above 60 degrees for the first time since we bought this house. At 8,000 square feet it’s going to be impossible to air condition this place and still keep it affordable. We are going to need to do a summer test to make sure we can keep it cool.

We are learning a lot about how Victorian houses are designed. Modern houses you tell them how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc you want, and a draftsman makes some blueprints to fit it in the rectangle space that is provided. In the Victorian age they didn’t have the technology to bend the environment to your will. So, they did a better job of making the housework to make living more comfortable.

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Do you believe in ghosts?

If you asked me that a week ago, I would have said no. After living in this house for five months, I can honestly say I’m not so sure anymore. Looking over everything that has happened here I just may believe in ghosts.

This is a 200-year-old house. We knew when we bought it that there was a chance that someone died in the long life the house has had. So far looking at the newspapers back in 1920 a Mr. Downey may have passed away here. It seems that his widow was trying to auction off everything and then sold the house. There may be more that we haven’t found yet.

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We had to add a sign on our house!

When we bought this house, we knew it had a lot of history. After being a fraternity for over 100 years how could it not. A few people in town told me that 1/2 the town may have been conceived in this house. After seeing the house, the first time, we didn’t care. She is a HUGE 8,000 square foot house that had been sitting empty and at risk of getting to the point where it couldn’t be saved. Worst yet! be split up into apartments, an oversized cheap B & B by some flipper.

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Restoring a Historic Gem: Our Journey to Revive a 19th-Century Queen Anne Victorian House

Overview of restoration project

We recently purchased this stunning Queen Anne Victorian house, which was built in 1837. Over the years, it has served as a fraternity for around 100 years, a barracks in World War II, and a place where horses were sold in the early 1900s. Our family feels incredibly lucky to now own this piece of history and embark on the journey of restoring it to its former glory.

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Room 11 has been stabilized

This is one of the easiest and fastest rooms that we did. Well other than removing all of the gold dots off the wall. Yes, gold dots! We even started to call room 11 “the gold dot room”. Being the first room on the 3rd floor made it fun taking supplies up and down the stairs. This room also had a radiator valve that was stuck closed. Took me awhile to get it opened back up to where the room was getting heat.

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First floor back hallway has been stabilized

I can’t find any before photos of the hallway. This is kind of strange considering how important it is to the house. The back hallway connects the kitchen, dining room, back vestibule, backstairs, the grand foyer and the laundry room. Our current laundry room we are going to move and make that room a tearoom but that is a project for another day.

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Room 1 has been stabilized

We finally got around to our room. The tower goes through this room and provides wonderful views of the front of the house. It also has a door to one of the second-floor small sleeping balconies. This was one of the few rooms that the ceiling was not covered. The antique and the two pot lights I’m not too wild about but still better than the modern ones that were installed in most of the house. Personally, I feel room 1 is one of the nicest rooms in this house, even if there is a lot of them.

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Room 2 has been stabilized

I will start on a positive note. Room 2 has one of the best views from in front of the house. You look right down Park St. On the left you have the Downtown Snell Hall from Clarkson University. A massive building in its own right. To the left you have the Potsdam Public Museum, Potsdam Public Library and the Village of Potsdam building. All with wonderful massive columns. It looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

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Second Floor Lounge Has Been Stabilized.

With the grand foyer painted it only was right that we continued the paint job on up the stairs. This in most houses this gets overlooked, but I feel that it’s a very important space. It does more than main access to the second floor. The size of ours would make a very nice lounge to read a book or kick back and enjoy the day. But it was in a desperate need of a makeover.

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What is does the top our towers and turrets look like?

Queen Anne Victorian houses are known for their elaborate and ornate architectural features, including towers and turrets. These features not only add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the house but also provide unique living spaces with panoramic views of the surrounding area. However, insulating the top of towers and turrets can present some challenges.

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The real Nightmare on Elm St our basement!

People often mistake our house for the house that inspired Nightmare on Elm Street. In truth, they tore down that house and it is located a few houses down from us. It was never proven that was the case too. But when we went into the basement it was more of the Crypt Keeper! Cobwebs from wall to wall. There was only a path going to the boiler that was like a tunnel through the cobwebs. We spent two days cleaning them out with a broom.

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