Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Getting close to bringing this tale to the current time.
But first I need to tell this. In January 1998, I emailed a friend with the latest news about  The Garden Palace. I told her about working on the stair wall because I was close to having the stairway ready to install. I'm so pleased that I thought to keep this documentation along with the photos because it included details that I surely may have forgotten by now.

For example, I told her about the creamy yellow paint I had chosen for the walls and that it had a very fitting name, Pollen. I told her I was using one coat of Kiltz first and then painting and that I was so anxious to have something pretty accomplished.

The most important information shared with her was regarding my research of the origination of this tiny house. As you know, in a small town everybody knows everybody. Because of this, I knew who the original owners were.

I talked with Bess (b.1910 d. 2011). Bess told me the First United Methodist church stood on that corner before the little house was built and her parents were the last couple to get married in the old Methodist Church. Her parents married in 1909.

Another church family bought the property and after the construction of the new First United Methodist Church on Coleman Street was completed, they tore down the old church, and built a boarding house. At the same time or shortly after building the boarding house (circa 1910), they also built the little house.  It did not connect to the boarding house but was very close. Much of the material from the old church was reused in the boarding house and little house. 

Bess was so excited that I had rescued the little house. She said she noticed it was gone but thought it had finally fallen. The most interesting thing Bess told me, was from its beginning the little house was used as living quarters for the owners two sons, Dutch and Ed.

Bess married Dutch in 1934. She said there was never a bathroom or kitchen and the children took their meals in the boarding house. The house never had water but there was evidence that an electrical line had been installed through the front wall. Dutch tore down the boarding house about 1982 and he passed away the year before I purchased the tiny house in 1995. Oh how I would have loved to visit with him about it.

Here is more of what I did to it.
stairway to the attic
 The tiny room became the stair room when I enlarged the attic opening and I designed and built this stair case. 
looking down from attic


 In this photo notice the finished stenciled pansies.
I added a corner molding and painted the red stripe below the stencil area. 
Pay no attention to the little non-stenciled area to the left of the stairs. (yep, that's one of the first things on my new daydream list) 

 This was the beginning of the morning glory stencil. It started at the floor of this wall, goes up and all the way around the room and back down to the floor. 
It is finished and a blue corner molding was added as well.
roses in the parlor
The green board that I added around the ceiling of the parlor was painted and stenciled before I installed it. 

The parlor is the only room where I added molding under the stenciling. 

Now, I want to tell you when I say "I", what I'm saying is I was the carpenter on the job.
I learned how to use a saw, hammer and nails from my Daddy when I went with him to his moonlighting jobs. However, the only thing I remember doing was puttying the nail holes. 
Oh, and I do remember him telling me, "measure twice and cut once". A good thing to know.

I designed, cut, and installed the stairs, as well as all of the molding that I added with help from no one. 

You do remember the "... unspoken truce. He knew I was going to have it no-matter-what. I knew he was not going to participate no-matter-what."

All of the pictures I am sharing are from back then (1995-2001). This was before I had digital camera. Furthermore, it was long before blogging which could explain my lack of pictures. 

The last batch of pictures that I have are coming tomorrow.
Outside views of what it looked like in 2001.
to be continued.....


  1. I love your tenacious spirit. What a tremendous undertaking.

    1. Thanks Judy, This morning I'm thinking about how this little house was built with "church" wood. I'm thinking about the spirit that I always feel when I disappear over there. It never occurred to me that I am among spirits there. It gives me a whole new meaning to day dreaming The Garden Palace.

    2. The moment I heard it was reclaimed wood for the old church, I immediately thought the same, Sharon. Although you were working alone... you were never alone. Magically and divinely watched over... I can only imagine with you... the smiles on the angels faces that must abound there. I am so enjoying your real life fairytale as it has unfolded before our eyes.... thank you for writing it in bite sized pieces so we can linger in its Joy! May Peace and Serenity rest in this place... ~Selah~

    3. Thank you, there truly is a peacefulness over there. I always thought about the angels that were know to me but I never realized there was a whole choir of them watching.

  2. I agree with Judy. You are quite a gal, Sharon. Builder Bob would be proud of you, as am I.

    1. Yes he would. I'm thinking my Builder Bob was my Dad. He would be proud. I have had an epiphany this morning about my Dad and I must get it written down.

  3. I knew you were an inspirtation to me but now more than ever - you have so many skills and talents - The Garden Palace has all your love, breath and hard work in it which makes it have even more meaning.
    It would be fantastic when it comes time to show it present day to walk in taking a video........just a thought!

  4. I am so impressed that you learned how to do everything you needed to. What an amazing journey this is. Can't wait for the reveal,

  5. Oh Sharon! I am just loving this story! It sounds like something I would want to do but not have the nerve. Can't wait to see the rest.

    1. But you would probably have a willing participant. Dream it

  6. Oh Sharon, I wish I had your will and know how. Your song should be, I am woman .... Good for you!!!!

  7. I'm just amazed at your carpentry skills. Even though your husband chose not to participate he must be impressed with what you accomplished.


    1. He is but the only way I would know was when I would overhear him bragging in the back office to the coffee guys.

  8. Unbelievable, exciting, envious, impressed....and carpenter skills???!!!!

    1. Yep carpenter skills and problem solving ability to figure out how to nail a 21 foot piece of molding 12 feet off the floor. Thank you

  9. Sharon, your little house is just awesome, inside and out! Just goes to show that love, passion, and a lot of hard work CAN make dreams come true. Great job you did on it! :)

  10. Amazingly beautiful. You must be very proud of your achievement. Love the garden too :)


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