|Bringing Back Holleywood||
An unanticipated consequence of taking down trees is that it's caused curious passersby to turn onto the driveway for a closer look at a house they've never seen from the road. Fearing for the safety of intrepid trespassers, we've had to rope off the job site and its treacherous holes in grounds and floorboards.
Items of historical interest discovered inside walls or behind floorboards are deposited in the safe, for, well, safekeeping.
Leon McClain, the carpenter who renovated the west porch for the previous owner, kindly gave us an artifact he discovered in the process: a shipping label addressed to Gov. Holley from a grocer in the 1800s, which fell when he dismantled the ceiling. The label is nailed to a crate plank that was "probably used as a shim" he said. A what? I inquired. "An extra board slid in to add height or depth." He marveled (as we did) that not only hadn't the cardboard rotted in a century and a half, even the ink hadn't smeared. (And we worry about our laser-printed labels holding up for a few days.) Thanks to The Connecticut Historical Society for posting a photo of this shop that the Holleys apparently favored for "meat, poultry, fish, oysters and vegetables."
The restoration has provided unforseen opportunity to connect with interesting members of the Salisbury community. Like local artist Susan Rand who asked if she could come over and paint the burn piles. Here's one of Susan's earlier visions of the property: a cool blue take on its garage and kitchen corner, painted on Groundhog Day in 2009. That snow looks inviting this time of year, doesn't it?
Carpenters Bill and Matt peer down from their work on the roof, through trap door to the attic.
In the old china closet, where we found remnants of the original handpainted ceiling, we discover another patch of faux marble wall that matches the treatment uncovered on a wall in the hallway. We'll preserve the patch in the hallway with a plate of plexi.
Like this floor-to-ceiling fruitwood bookcase in the living room, built-in when the house was expanded in 1860. An old English "H" is carved on the curlicued cornice. The date and Holley's initials are sandblasted onto glass in the sliding doors. AHH, indeed.
who we are
We are a couple of Upper West Siders from NYC who never set out to buy an old mansion in Connecticut. But the moment we walked through its massive front door, we were smitten. The info on this site is earnestly cobbled from a variety of sources, including the web. Please let us know if we've gotten something wrong, or if there's a story about Holleywood you'd like to share.