|Adams projects November completion for Peltier house|
|Saturday, June 15, 2013 12:28 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
“I did quite a bit of research and one of the Peltier’s sons has told me quite a bit and I also read about it,” Jack said. “Over the years, a lot of things have been changed. I’m still finding little things here and there. For instance, in between two different wallpapers in the dining room is a penciled date and signature — Sept. 13, 1941, A.W. Blythe. He was a relative of Arden Blythe.”
In January 2011, the Adamses projected completion of the kitchen, which was the first room to be finished. The dining room has also been completed. In addition, when the restoration is complete, the home will have six bedrooms and seven baths.
“With the exception of a little tweaking here and there, the three bedrooms, kitchen and dining room are done,” Adams stated.
Each bedroom will have an etched transom window installed above the doorway indicating which Peltier family member used the room and for what purpose. For example, the bedroom at the southeast corner was Peltier’s Library. The transom window has the word “library” and book graphics etched into it. Adams described the details of the work in the room and pointed out two antique pieces of furniture, which the Peltier family were kind enough to leave — a three-drawer chest dating back to the Civil War era and a mirrored bureau from the 1920s.
Currently, three of the four existing bedrooms have been completed and two of them have operable, remodeled bathrooms attached. The fourth bedroom, which was Dortha’s sewing room, is in its finishing stages of renovations. Adams opened up the room by re-configuring the two large closets — removing the squared off wall sections and adding an attic access panel — one will serve as an actual closet and the other will house a vented gas fireplace. The room will reflect Dortha’s favorite color — red with white trim — and should be completed, along with the detached bath/laundry room, by this weekend.
While explaining the restoration of the bedroom Peltier’s son Stanley resided in, Adams pointed out interesting facts regarding Victorian architecture.
“Victorian homes built prior to 1915 did not have closets because the homeowner’s property taxes were based on the number of closets in the dwelling,” Adams detailed. “Instead of closets, family’s had small bedrooms or utilized armories.”
After 1915, homeowners were taxed on the actual property, rather than closets and so began another remodeling phase in the Peltier house, as well as in other Victorian homes.
Upcoming construction on the second story will include a fifth bedroom and two new bathrooms, one of which will accommodate “Stanley’s” existing completed bedroom.
After stripping the wallpaper from the hallway and the stairwell, Adams found evidence of renovations to the north and south bedroom doorways, which he believes had been shifted eight inches toward the east sometime in the 1870s. He also found a window had been taken out of the wall space above the stairwell.
At the base of the flight of stairs in the Great Room, which was originally two rooms divided by a wall — a parlor and a living room — Adams said through removal of old carpeting, he found signs that another flight of steps and landing had existed but had been removed at some point. Adams has taken on the endeavor of reconstructing the stairway back to its original configuration.
Another structure that sits on the backside of the property is a “doll house” or playhouse. It was constructed for Mr. Doyle’s daughter, Doreen. The Doyles bought the house from the Wolfe family and succeeded Mr. Wolfe as the CEO of Grahamm Trailers. Adam’s research indicated the doll house had been moved from its original location and has since become dilapidated and is beyond repair.
“The doll house had electric running to it and a working telephone,” Adams detailed.
The home was constructed in 1870 on what was originally 12 acres of farmland, which by itself, is a huge amount of work. Adams said it takes close to four hours to cut the lawn using a riding mower.
Today, the grounds boasts an assortment of Oaks, Crabapples, Maples and a few remaining Ash trees, which have died or been felled due to borer infestation. Adams would like to restore many of the original native species that inhabited the property but have been absent from the landscape for a long time. Some of the old photos taken from the roadway shows an image of the house with large trees and their stout branches sprawling across the drive, almost hiding the home from view.
“I would love to plant Mangrove trees,” Adams detailed. “Re-introducing the original trees is something I can do for the next generations who will enjoy this property.”
Peltier designed and built his Merry-Go-Round observatory in 1937, which moved with the family to their new home, Brookhaven — which will always be known as the Peltier house — in 1948.
|Last Updated on Saturday, June 15, 2013 12:41 AM|