December 11, 2013

The Ghost of Christmas Present

So, one of the byproducts of allowing a TV production crew to film on our property was the chance to pick the brains of the psychic mediums who were the stars of the show, which Jenny did.
All three of the mediums were super nice, and loved our house.  Two of them had lived previously in early American homes, so they were particularly appreciative.  Unfortunately, only one of the three had impressions of the "psychic energy" of our house.  The other two were too focused on the readings that they were doing for the show.  So, for what it's worth, here is what a professional psychic medium has to say about the house:
In our downstairs guest room, which was being used as the hair and makeup room the for the shoot, the psychic very matter-of-factly communed with the spirit of an old woman named Martha who lived (lives?) there.  She apparently was the relative of one of the past owners, and that was her room.  Although the psychic said that Martha was friendly and happy, she apparently was something of a neat freak, and was dispensing suggestions as to where the makeup woman should hang up the jacket that she had left sitting on the floor.  Martha also seems to have a strong design sensibility, as she told the psychic that the floor should be wood (it is currently wall to wall carpet) and that the walls should not be painted their current bright shade of Baltimore Oriole orange.  I have to say, Martha is my kind of spirit.  The mess in the guest room annoys the hell out of me, and I am always nagging Jenny to put away the stuff that she "temporarily" stores there.  I've also been on a campaign to rip out the carpet and install the same antique wide plank oak flooring that is in the rest of the house.  I think that my vote and Martha's outweighs Jenny's, right?
Interestingly, when we had an architectural historian look at that room when we restored it seven years ago, his thought that it was most likely added onto the house in the very early 19th century for a mother-in-law, or spinster aunt or sister.  It was too nice for a hired man's room, but not really part of the family area of the main house.  I'll have to dig around to see if there is a record of a Martha in the house.  I don't recall one, but you never know.  In any case, the guest room henceforth will be Martha's room.  My sister has already told me that she will never sleep in the room.  I'm sure that Martha would prefer that she not intrude, anyway.
The medium also "saw" a nursery in the space between the two upstairs bedrooms that used to be a small third room, that indeed very likely was a nursery.  She also had visions of a black woman who served as a nanny in the house, although that would have been very unlikely based on what I know about who lived here long ago.  But what do I know?  I had never even noticed Martha before.
Anyway, the psychic seems to have dug the vibe of our house, which is really all that we could have hoped for.  It certainly beats the alternative, which would have been them telling Jenny that there was a bad energy about the house, at which point she would have begun packing our belongings.

A Star is Barn

Interesting day today at the Enos Kellogg Homestead.  A TV production crew is in the barn filming a development pilot for a show tentatively titled Seance.  This is a reality show that brings psychic mediums (media?) in to give readings on groups of people.
The production crew thought that a barn would provide the right atmosphere, and a friend of a friend sent them our way.  After a full day yesterday setting up lights and decor, they are busily filming the episode today.  Which means three mediums, the people being "read", and the entire production crew are running around the property today.  Interesting to watch what goes into a reality show firsthand, but it will be nice to get the property back to ourselves tomorrow.

Since this pilot is something that will be used to shop around the show to networks, I doubt that it will ever see the light of day (even if the show is picked up by a network), but on the off chance that you think you recognize our barn when flipping channels in the future, you just might be right!

December 03, 2013

The Barn Restoration is Complete!

After more than five months, restoration of the c.1784 Enos Kellogg barn is complete.

I'll do a more detailed involved post later on, but here are a few photos of the finished structure, including some interiors from Thanksgiving Day, when we officially put the barn back into use with dinner for 35 inside.

Happily, the barn crew all signed their names on gable-end rafters, for someone to discover in another century or so.


A Long Way Down
Renard installing the traditional "propeller" door latch

Our painter, Bill, braving darkness and a snow flurry to finish up