Tuesday, September 23, 2014

well, hello there...

My melancholy mood. brought on by nearing the end of scraping the wallpaper from all these old walls, was relieved by one last surprise today.

Waiting to make my acquaintance on one of the last walls I've worked on was a self-portrait of a little girl, initialed M.K.  I can only guess that this is Mildred Kelly, only child of our house's original owner, John G. Kelly, and future wife of Robert King (of the King Estate, Baywood).  She hasn't been alone on the wall all these years though, there are other profiles and initials on this section, although who they might be I don't know.



Cousins, workers, maids?  I have no idea.  Hopefully we'll encounter more names as our research continues.  For now I just hope we can save this section of wall before it crumbles away.
the drawings are on the small wall to the right of the chimney wall
I'm grateful for this discovery, in this room, as this room was home to another huge drawing on the plaster which was destroyed by our electrician before I stripped the wallpaper - the only evidence being the outer edges of sketched hills on either side of a gaping hole.  What it could have been will haunt me.  

Of course, this isn't the only art we've found in the house.  Several rooms have sported sketches of room outlines and molding profiles.  The best however, and one in a series of strange coincidences that gave rise to our house's name, is found near the floor of the guest bedroom.


  1. Wow--those are amazing finds! Maybe I should turn my kids loose drawing on the walls in some obscure part of my house as a gift to future generations ;)

    1. Absolutely! Another house on our street has heights marked on the wall of all the children who grew up in the house, all the way back 1889.

  2. Gives me chills ... love it!! Talk about communicating from the great beyond! While stripping paint from one of our mantels, I found that someone had carved MARTHA into it ... pretty early on, considering how much paint was over it. There was no Martha among the earliest families here, but there is a story of how a spinster sister ran a girls school here at the end of the 19th Century ... we wonder if Martha is one of the girls.

    1. That's so cool! The schoolhouse siding was covered with antique graffiti, but the prep we had to do to the boards sadly obliterated it. When we have our barn warming party I'm hoping to get people to carve their names in it.

  3. Just shared this post with someone in IA on the Owners of Victorian Houses FB page who was excited to find carvings in their place. Not sure if you'll be able to find the whole post from this pic, but the post's from Aug 21. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2340333769316229&set=pcb.10155411640982610&type=3&theater&ifg=1


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