So, I was looking at the 1999 images of the Cross House Bob Rodak took just after he purchased the house. But, wait, there was something I had not noticed before. Oh. Oh! OH!!!!!!!! See the middle door? That is the original full bathroom on the second floor. See the tub? Could that be, might that be, the original 1894 tub????????


I was breathless with excitement!

But…where was the tub? It was no longer in place. Did Bob remove it?

Even if the tub was long gone, at least I had an image. Now I knew what to look for!

The next day a thought popped into my head: Is the tub in the garage?

Just after buying the house, I had Justin haul out all loose bits and store them in the garage. Certainly I would have recalled THIS tub but I had no memory of it.



…Holy Toledo! It WAS in the garage! I had no idea! But, how old? Bo told me to look under the tub. So, with Justin’s help we tipped the HEAVY tub over.


Wow! Cool! I love finding this kind of stuff! I think the 4-1/4 refers to the length (I did not measure). And the date…


…also! July, 20, 1926.




I was desperately clinging to 1894, or a few years before, being revealed.

So, not the original tub.


Still, it is a lovely historic tub. It most certainly dates from the 1929 renovation when the second-floor was converted into apartments by Scott Mouse, Sr. It is odd though that the original tub was not retained. Perhaps it was too long in a reconfigured space?


As I pondered the tub I realized it looked familiar. Ah! There are two even smaller matching tubs in the en-suite bathrooms to the Round and Hexagon bedrooms. These bathrooms were also added in 1929, and the tubs are a cute-as-a-button 4-feet long. I am keeping them in situ.

Well, what to do with the 4-1/2-foot tub?

My mind ponders again…



  1. Bo on March 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Many folks are surprised and delighted to discover that sinks, tubs and toilets often hide a secret – a manufacturing date hidden underneath the bowl on the sink, under the bottom on a tub, or under the lid of a toilet tank. This can settle many speculative arguments over originality.

    Not all fixtures have this, but many do. Sometimes there is a date inside a tank, but rarely (it tended to accumulate grime) – it would be on the back against the wall. Also the toilet bowl could have been stamped – but you won’t get a look for this date until the next time you change a wax ring. And we all hope there never will be a next time for that.

  2. Bo on March 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    4′ tubs are as rare as Democrats in Kansas – Ross is one, and has two! Luckily, they have found each other…

    • Ross on March 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Actually…I read somewhere that there were twelve Democrats in Kansas!

  3. miriam righter on March 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I cannot renovate my existing full bath because I have not yet found a short enough tub. You are soooooo lucky to have three short tubs! I was thinking about you yesterday and today as my daughters and I were staying in a B&B in Dubuque Iowa. I wondered if you had ever given any thought to going that route to finance the renovations. All the renovations/ furnishings are a tax write off of a business expense then. But, the down side is no vacations without lots of planning for someone to cover for you. You would have loved all the lights in the B&B! I felt like an expert sharing what I have learned from you!

  4. Brandy on March 16, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Ross, I think you are wrong about the tub, the date clearly reads 2026. That tub is from the FUTURE, man! I bet it slipped through the space time continuum. Good thing it wasn’t occupied when that happened, lol!

    • Ross on March 16, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Zounds! I think you are correct!

      You know, the space/time continuum at the Cross House has been funky ever since Bo arrived!

      Now, I just need to ask Bo for some future winning Lottery numbers!


      • Bo on March 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        Try 72026.

        • Ross on March 16, 2017 at 9:48 pm

          It took me a minute…


  5. Kerri on March 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Are you planning on restoring the bathroom to its’ original layout? If so, then having a 1926 bathtub would “confuse the narrative” right? On the other hand, if you’re keeping the current layout, then the 1926 bathtub obviously fits with the 1929 renovation and is in keeping with the other two bathrooms you mentioned. Personally, I would try to restore the original bathroom, but, like you said, keep the other two 1929 bathrooms because they were an added feature rather than a changed feature. Besides, having two 1929 bathrooms is great! It’s not like deciding to keep some hideous 1980’s bathroom! How many bathrooms do you have? It sounds like you have a lot!

    • Ross on March 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Hi Kerri!

      When the house is done there will be 6-1/2 bathrooms!

      Also, I am not set on any plans for restoring the second-floor bathroom. Yet! That will be a post at a latter date!

  6. Cory on March 17, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Half bury it in the front yard and put a statue of the Virgin Mary in it?

    • Ross on March 17, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Ahhhh! Perfect!

  7. montana on March 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Well that tub isn’t all bad – it was made on an auspicious date – 7/20 – my birthday and how many kids have parents who would arrange to have men walk on the moon for the first time on their childs birthday. Is that true parental love or what?

    • Ross on March 18, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      That is, indeed, amazing parental love!

  8. JET Texas on March 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Ross,

    Long time reader here, first time commenter. According to the original house plans, the Cross House had only 2 bathroom, one above the other on the south side of the house. You mentioned in a comment above there will eventually be 6.5 bathrooms. May I ask where the others will go? I love your blog and wish you the best of luck in renovating your stunning home!

    • Ross on March 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Nice to meet you!

      When built, the Cross House had a half-bath on the first floor, a full bath for the family on the second, and a full bath for servants on the third floor.

      In 1929, more bathrooms were added. I am keeping three. These were created out of closets in the Round, Hexagon, and Long bedrooms.

      In 1950, more bathrooms were added. I am keeping one in the basement.

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