02 Oct The Humphrey House One Year Later
It was a year ago that we took ownership of the Humphreys House. From Day 1, we had documented the progress of the old structure on Shorebread.com and on our own Humphreys House Facebook page — from the early days last fall when every waking hour was put into working on the house, to long after we moved in and worked more on smaller projects.
In one month, we will host a wedding at the Humphreys House. Our dear friends Courtney and Jeremy will be tying the knot and enjoying a reception in our back yard. In preparation, we have started converting the back barn into an entertainment area. The process has been slow, with limited resources and time. But with 30 days left, the clock is ticking and we’re getting under way in earnest. As has become our practice, we will be reusing and repurposing as much as we can from the existing structures and material. Our intent is respect the house and its history, but to also add a few modern elements.
To open up the back yard, we removed a few trees a couple weeks ago — ones that Mary, the previous owner, had let grow a little out of control. It was particularly nice because just as we were getting ready to start, we heard from her. Well, not directly from her (we stopped doing séances in the ’80s with everyone else), but we randomly received a note from a woman who is a distant relative. Strangely, Mary was an only child who was born in the house and never had a family of her own, so there aren’t many known relatives. However, this kind woman took the time to stop by and leave a note, which she scrawled on the back of a receipt. She shared with us that Mary’s sentiment had been to let the house go and it was up to the next owners to take of.
This was a relief, as we were about to take down five large trees that all were misplaced, overgrown and threatening both the house and a beautiful cedar tree. Mary was a bird lover and plant lover, and I really didn’t want to upset her legacy.
That note, in my mind, gave us the green light to do what we needed to do.
It may seem odd to be so concerned about the respecting the previous owner, but with a 100-year-old house, it is just the thing to do. Adding to that is, in the note, we got confirmation that it was Mary’s father who built the house.
Now that the “busy” season is over, a lot of the bigger projects that were started will resume soon, and with that will be the continued documentation of projects.