Breathless…In Emporia!


Last week I discovered that I was missing five medallions, originally under the three arched windows on the north facade of the Cross House. Golly. I had no idea. Well, this affront to architectural decency had to be corrected! At once, my man! At once!



Mark, from WF Norman, graciously and amazingly, make an extra extra effort to find these five medallions. And five was all they had.



The medallions were to be installed on the blank trim under the windows. Mark also made me two new bases (left) for the columns.



What confirmed the former existence of the medallions were pairs of nails in exactly the locations where the medallions should have been. The nails were also each a bit proud, too, like they once held something in place. Today, I pulled these nails out…



…and used them to install the new medallions! Wow! WOW! I also loved loved loved reusing 122-year-old nails for their original purpose! I just smiled with delight!



And painted!!!!!!!! Also note the two new column bases (left). Painted, too! It was 101-degrees today, so the fan was vital. All this work is happening on the north porch roof! I am using one of the arched windows as a door.



Five new medallions. Two new columns bases. I am just breathless. And quite teary-eyed. A tiny bit of wrong in the world, righted.






  1. Cindy Sundell-Guy on July 21, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I love seeing someone who actually understands being a “housewright” and the difference between restoration and remuddling. Love your posts and seeing the progress of the house.

  2. Michele on July 21, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Beautiful! So glad you are truly restoring what was originally there!

  3. Ken on July 21, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    They look just perfect Ross. You have made great progress this summer.

  4. David on July 21, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I’m pretty sure the Cross House loves you as much as you love it.

  5. BeardedBi*ch on July 21, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Ross! I TOTALLY get it – re-using 122-year-old nails for their original purpose… there are no words which can adequately convey that sort of experience. The bit of wrong which you have righted in the world is far bigger than you think…. thanks for doing so!

  6. Vicki F. on July 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    It’s the little things….the beautiful, glorius and meaningful little things. “Awesome in Emporia”!

  7. Sandra G. McNichol on July 22, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Wonderful! You have made a lot of progress this summer, Ross.
    And, I believe that all the tiny bits of wrongs righted in the world, make the world much much more right to live in – so – well done – bravo!!

  8. Lacie on July 22, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Gorgeous!! Thank you for transforming Emporoa!

  9. Connie in Hartwood on July 22, 2016 at 6:20 am

    This looks wonderful, Ross. Amazing how such a small thing can make one so happy, if happy can truly be achieved in 101 weather while working outside. Thank you for bringing us along on this ride.

  10. Cheryl Restoring home in Monson, Ma. on July 22, 2016 at 7:51 am

    It was beautiful before, but now it’s complete.

  11. Cheryl Restoring home in Monson, Ma. on July 22, 2016 at 7:57 am

    It was beautiful before, but now it’s complete. The house does love you.

  12. Andi on July 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I’m so glad these were put up (and that I didn’t skip ahead in posts and gave myself a surprise)! They look stunning.

  13. Jordan on August 6, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I love this blog. Only discovered it yesterday and I’m almost up to date with your posts.

    You’re doing a fantastic job.

    What I love most about old houses and ‘putting things right’ are those questions that can never be answered. Somebody obviously took a dislike to those medallions in the past and has removed them.

    Some head scratching questions raised by the action:

    1. Why start simplifying the decorative frills half way up the side of the house? Surely somebody who doesn’t like frills would start with removing trim that is easier to reach? Stained glass/ door handles?!
    2. Why leave the nails in place?!

    Maybe somebody removed them in the past to clean and repaint them and never got round to putting them back on. Unlikely, but a nice thought.

  14. Elizabeth on October 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    How gorgeous!!!

  15. Lisa Phillips on October 25, 2016 at 11:56 am


  16. Sandra Lee on March 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Breathtaking when able to right an architectural detail using tools such as the over 120 year old nails yippee yi kayay! Almost caught up with all your posts since discovering your blog yesterday after viewing the CIRCA interview on YouTube. Way to go Ross! Congrats on continuing to find innovative ways to tackle individual problems and make them better than before!

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