The Cross House was built in 1894. It is located at 526 Union Street, in Emporia, Kansas. I purchased the house in March 2014.

Want to learn about the background of the house?


Want to help?

My blog posts about the restoration are below.


The Cross House, Emporia, designed by architect Charles M. Squires.

The Cross House, Emporia, designed by architect Charles W. Squires.

Currently displaying blog entries in Chronological Order. Switch to Most Recent.

Currently displaying blog entries in Most Recent Order. Switch to Chronological Order.

Where Is Ross?

Some of you will have noticed that my posting about the Cross House has significantly diminished of late. That is because not much has been happening of late. Save the big push to get a working shower installed, and The Other Justin installing a new maple kitchen floor, it has all been…quiet. The is the…

Continue Reading 

A Shower…Is In The House

On the ever-shorter TO DO LIST of things required to get me living at the Cross House, a shower has been installed! I had planned to install the shower in the SW corner of the servant’s room (in the SE corner of the second floor). The shower pan though is huge: 5-feet x 5-feet. Slowly,…

Continue Reading 

Much Ado About…A Downspout

      When I purchased the house in 2014, there were no downspouts. This was bad. Very bad, and a huge amount of damage to the house could have been prevented had the downspouts remained in situ. Recently, the downspout to the north porch fell down during a windstorm, and the porte-cochère needs two…

Continue Reading 

Vibrating Energy

In 2014, just after I purchased the Cross House, my friend Christina, who is empathic and quite sensitive, toured the house. “The house is very sad. The house radiates a lot of deep sadness, and anger, too. I’m uncomfortable and don’t want to stay any longer.” She did though return a year later. “I can’t…

Continue Reading 


In 2014, I ‘met’ Cody on Old House Dreams. He was passionate about a house listed, and I was fascinated that an 18-year-old would be interested in historic houses. I was just like that at 18! We kept in touch over the years, and eventually even talked with long telephone conversations. But…we have never met….

Continue Reading 

A Refrigeration Curiosity

      But…but…Kerri brought up the fact that such refrigerators were crazy expensive at the time, more than a Model T. I thought: Oh, that can’t be true. It is! The classic General Electric “Monitor-Top” refrigerator was introduced in 1927 and cost $525. This seems cheap, today, but this translates to a whopping $7,700…

Continue Reading 

Creep…NO MORE!

    So…floor done. My excitement? Great.  

Continue Reading 

Creeping Maple


Continue Reading 

Creeping Maple. A Discovery. And Questions.

  For seven years, with immense forbearance, I have overlooked the kitchen flooring, the most damaged in the house. So, you can imagine my thrill at having a good, solid floor! Squee!!!!!!!! If it were not for Covid, I would schedule a dance party upon the new floor!       …there is a lot more…

Continue Reading 

Kitchen Flooring!

  This is particularly satisfying as, for several years after buying the house in 2014, there was no floor in the servant’s hall. One looked directly into the basement. The original floor had been been eaten by termites!    

Continue Reading 

The Leak Found! The Leak Fixed!

Of late, I have been bedeviled. Bedeviled! A few months ago, I stepped into the the Round Bedroom and discovered…oh, the horror…water dripping from the ceiling. EEK! The next day, I climbed a tall ladder set up on the west porch roof to see if I could ascertain the problem, which had to be between…

Continue Reading 


    Maple was a common wood choice for kitchens when the Cross House was built. I have no idea why. Suggestions? I also have no idea of what to finish the maple with. What was common in 1894? Any ideas? Oh, and again…SQUEE!!!!!!!!  

Continue Reading 

Cody Scores Yale & Towne Hardware!

All the door hardware in the Cross House is by Yale and Towne. And it is all…F A B U L O U S ! It it all mostly…squee!!!!!!!!…in situ. Praise the Lord! Several missing door sets have now been acquired, and all that is still missing are 18 window pulls. A few weeks ago…

Continue Reading 

Refinishing the Kitchen Wainscoting. Part II.

    Some of you have suggested using tung oil or stain. But, my goal is to recreate the lost original finish, and this was just orange shellac over bare wood. This was an inexpensive finish and thus appropriate for a room only used by servants. The butler’s pantry was also painted. I was able…

Continue Reading 


  A trick to unwarp wood is to, when it is hot outside, lay them on wet grass, warp side down. So, I have been doing this for a month now regarding the small shelf. But is has not been warm enough for most of this time, and there has been almost no rain. But…after…

Continue Reading 

Refinishing the Kitchen Wainscoting. Unhappily.

  So…poo. I have no idea what to do. The wood would not have looked like this in 1894. I know because I have a section (behind a radiator) which retains its original shellac, and this looks consistent and quite elegant. So…poo.    

Continue Reading 


Computer back from hospital. Will soon be posting again!

Continue Reading 

A Forced Vacation

Well, it was bound to happen. My computer crashed. Luckily, I had a external backup so I should be ok. But, I am now without a computer. A new hard drive is on order and maybe I will have the computer back on Friday. Maybe. A new super-duper computer is on order but it will…

Continue Reading 

A Milestone!

  The first two floors of the house had wall-to-wall carpeting originally, so random cheap pine was paid down. This was, it seems, replaced with oak during the circa-1929 apartment conversion. However, because the landing was raised up, its original random pine was extant when I returned the landing to its original height in 2014….

Continue Reading 

Way Up…Gutter Top

  The original mortar had been leached out by a failed built-in gutter (hidden inside the huge curved cornice). From Day 1, the gutter in this area had been badly designed, for it could not possibly contain the massive amount of water rushing down from the massive roof. (I will later show images of the…

Continue Reading