Tantalizing Doors!


A modern glass storm door was covering the north door when I purchased the Cross House. Behind it is an oak door, original to the house. As part of the process of repainting/restoring the porch area, I removed the modern door (and will not be reinstalling it). And then I found a surprise.



The location of long-lost hinges. In an instant I realized that the north door, like the main entry, once had a screen door. Could I somehow confirm this?



Why yes. I could. Image from 1999. And look at that. (Image Bob Rodak.)



Yep. The 1894 screen door.


The previous owner, Bob Rodak, told me he almost certainly has the front screen doors. Does he have the north screen door? It was there when he purchased the house. I texted Bob, but have not yet received a response. And my inquiries about the front screen doors have, so far, not resulted in their being found.

It’s all very very very tantalizing. Even if Bob does find them, but wants to keep them, I would still like to see (and touch!) them, take measurements, and photographs.

Sigh. Soooooooooooo tantalizing.






  1. christina wagner on November 4, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Yes indeed: love is an act of giving.

    My name is Christina and I am a “house-keeper”. I can safely say that I am one-of-a-kind housekeeper and when I heard your interview I felt less alone. As strange as it sounds I love to taking care of historical houses, or houses that requires special attention. All above 5,000 sq.ft.

    I am originally from Italy and I grew up surrounded by houses with character. When I walk in for a consultation the homeowners already had a negative experience with those speed-cleaning agencies that ruined their baroque mirror frame. I often ask myself why these people choose to own such a house, or even buy such large houses when they are so demanding in care. I tell my clients that a house is the external representation of who you are internally and when it is not kept up to its standards it tells a lot about the owners. I explain them that their 1800 hardwood floor should not be mopped and stripped with Murphy soap and that granite floor, even if it was built to withstand horseshoe steps, cannot be washed with bleach.

    Depending on the house, I spent time searching the proper tools, but I always carry with me my old French hair horse brushes to wipe off the dust from that curved wood. “I have never seen anyone cleaning like that”, they often say. And my reply is always the same: “you need to care for your house with care and love or these breathing surfaces will suffer with you”. Many people are so caught up in their daily agendas that do not understand what I mean so it was nice to hear someone else sharing the same love for houses who has character.

    PS: If you need a house-keeper just let me know.

    Wishing you all the best.


    • Ross on November 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      I have a hundred questions!

      But first, where do you live????????

      • christina wagner on November 6, 2016 at 7:26 am

        Ps: I ll do my best to answer them all.

  2. christina wagner on November 5, 2016 at 4:06 am

    I call it “”cheesy land”, but in the official maps is listed as Wisconsin! Kenosha, to be precise.

    • Ross on November 6, 2016 at 7:46 am


      That would be a very long commute to the Cross House!

  3. Eric U. on November 6, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Even if none of the original storm doors ever materialize, it would be possible to construct some replacements based on Bob’s photo which would be substantially more in keeping with the character of the house than the modern door you thankfully removed. Far from being inconspicuous, these storm doors stand out on antique houses by virtue of their modern proportions and the glare from such a large, historically inappropriate, sheets of glass. “Full-view” storm doors were NOT a late 19th-century staple! Lever handles are out of character with the house, too – this hardware is too thin and delicate for a late Victorian.

  4. christina wagner on November 6, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    If I knew the size of the door, I would hunt for one: old farmhouses, local historical society, flee markets, e-bay under antiques, foreclosure homes, online ads such as graiglist Under “free staff”. ” when you ask, you shall receive”.
    With some patience and perseverance the right door will show up.

    • Ross on November 6, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you for the offer!

      I am determined to track down the original doors!

      Hope springs eternal!

  5. christina wagner on November 6, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Do I really need to commute to answer any other question?

    • Ross on November 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Sorta! If you were local, and wanted to be the Housekeeper Goddess of the Cross House, then, yes, I would have a lot of questions!

  6. Anonymous on November 6, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    You may find this link useful.

    • Ross on November 6, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Oh! That looks like hours of fun! Thanks!

  7. christina wagner on November 7, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Search historical archives for Meffert Hospital. You lo be surprised

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