In 1968 we sought out the owner and begged him to sell us the house. Then was one hurdle after another to overcome. The first being financing. R.I. Hospital Trust was not pleasantly receptive to a young couple with small children and no experience. That took some convincing, and a few weeks of telephone calls to resolve that situation.
Antoinette Downing from the Preservation Society visited and made suggestions and color guides before the restoration began. George Matteson, a noted local historian was also a welcomed visitor. Then the time element was an issue. We lived in a new home about a mile away. We had just solved out financial problems and had a contract with the seller when the sirens went off one night and vandals through gasoline across about 4 feet on the back of the house.
Damage was mostly contained to the roof, which had four layers on it. The positive side out of all that was the hissing sound was gone. We started restoration in March of 1969. The foundation consisted of rocks, granite and seven different kinds of trees made up the floor joists.
Through the years of being idle water had run down the central chimney and rotted out the support for the hearth with the beehive oven. This was the first major step to take, secure the foundation. The house had to be jacked up in order to put a 12 x 12 oak beam across the chimney foundations. When that was completed we gave a sigh of relief, cause the house did not crumble and we continued with restoration.
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