On The Hunt…For Missing Bits!

Copy of glass plate depicting the Cross home, circa 1895. Walter Anderson Collection - from ESU Archives.

The Cross House, 1895. It is hard to see, but the outer set of oak doors have a pair of screen doors. The doors are no longer extant. Walter Anderson Collection, ESU Archives.


Circa-1960? You can see that there were no sconces There appears to be some sort of ceiling fixture although it would certainly not be original.

Circa-1970? You can see the screen doors. See also the thin horizontal lines just under the screens? That detail is matched in the interior doors.


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1999. Terrifying. Although you cannot really tell, the screen doors are in situ.



1999. This is inside the house. Both the inner and outer sets of doors are open, and one screen door is evident.



I have a pair of these pulls inside the house. But each pull was obviously located somewhere else. In this image you can see that a flat push plate was originally on the door (in the butler’s pantry). I now suspect that the pulls were originally on the lost screen doors. I cannot imagine any other original location for them, and have long pondered this mystery.


Well, I have never given the lost screen doors much thought.

Until today. Because today I discovered that the doors might still exist. This leaves me breathless.

I am crossing my fingers that the lead pans out.

Please cross your fingers too!




  1. Cindi M on March 5, 2016 at 6:51 am

    That’s exciting news. So much was saved of the original bits and pieces of the house, that’s it’s hard to believe anything was thrown out. What mysteries. Nancy Drew would be intrigued. And Bess, poor dear, would be lost in some forgotten room, maybe behind the paneling! Happy hunting.

  2. ken on March 5, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I think you can see the handles on the doors in the 1895 picture.

  3. Marie on March 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Cliffhanger!! I love it!

    • Ross on March 5, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      I know! Even I am breathless with anticipation!

  4. JSS on March 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Ross! I am a huge fan and really enjoy your blog. I can get lost for hours with pictures of the Cross House. Our study of the facade led to a question. Above the front door on the second floor are 3 arched windows. The middle one once had a raised panel below it. It appears original. Do you plan to duplicate it?

    Just curious-


    • Ross on March 6, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      You have a good eye.

      The panel in question was an original design, but the actual material was less than 20-years-old, and all rotted.

      The design is an inherently poor choice for an exterior, because such raised panels do not shed water. Hence the rot of new-ish material. I cannot help but wonder how many times the panels were replaced over the decades.

      I shingled the area in question. This will, for now, protect the house from rot, and allow me time to somehow recreate the design but in a manner which will last.

  5. Montana Channing on March 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    wowee – that handle is spectacular. are there two of them as each screen must have had one. i love screen doors and the more geegaws and furbeloes they have the better. i hope you find them

  6. Michele on May 13, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Inquiring minds are wondering…..did you find the screen doors?

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