REPAIRS, REPLACEMENT, MAINTENANCE
In 1918 a Delco Home Electric System was installed and the first deep well with sucker rods and a Meyers pump, a 90 gal. storage tank, a hot water heater, bath room, and kitchen sink replaced a cistern, a dug well, and a bored (auger) well as water supply since 1860. The pipes were galvanized. The plumbing was installed by a man named Claud from Henderson, Tennessee. A neighbor’s son, Albert Jones, wired the well house and the main house. Reed Deep Well Company did the well. The well and the lights were all this system could carry. The hot water heater was connected to the wood range; and as long as there was a fire in the range, there was hot water.
In 1938, when the Electric Power Company in Henderson built the line to the Emergency Landing Field here, we were tied in since our house was already wired. This was the first home to have real electric power--an electric refrigerator, washing machine, and hot water heater were purchased. Later an electric range and small appliances were purchased. In 1940 the sucker rod well was replaced with a deep well jet. The sucker rod water pump was installed at the tenant house. Siler and Son installed the jet and a larger motor pump.
In 1978, the jet pump failed. Ryals Well Co. installed a 4" deep well with motor, pump, and tank underground in the back yard. The galvanized pipes were replaced with plastic pipes leading in to the main line and to the hot water heater.
The Hamletts left the house in good shape and newly painted. In the 1920’s, the house was painted for the first time since we owned it. Paint jobs lasted 15 to 20 years at that time. A man named Mayfleld Henderson did the painting until 1945. A 1945 tornado damaged the roof, and water went through to the original wallpaper in the parlor on the north corner. Up to this time my sisters and I had papered the walls of the rooms other than the parlor.
Paul and Glenn Wheatley (painters and paper hangers) started painting both outside and the interior. The paper in the parlor was re-pasted and re-hung, and ceiling paper was put up. Ceilings in the entire house were plastered and were white. These were the first ceilings to be papered. The Wheatleys did the painting and papering as needed.
In 1965, the outside of the main house and the two-story smokehouse was painted. This was the first time for the smokehouse, and it took three coats of paint. All woodwork inside was painted, also the floors except the long hall. It was sanded, treated, and finished in natural heart pine. The northeast bedroom, the middle bedroom next to the family room, and the hall were papered. Touch-up painting continued between the main painting jobs every 5 to 10 years.
In 1970, they papered my brother Will’s room, put one coat of paint on the main house, and painted the house again in 1974, 1979, and in 1982. In 1984, Paul Wheatley papered the family room for the first time in 35 years, and painted the woodwork and floors.
The Wheatley twins have taken care of the place for over forty years. One brother, Glenn, died in 1982.
Another long-timer is Gilbert Pierce. He has been reading our electric meter for over 30 years. One of the early meter readers was Jack Ward, in 1938 to 1942. Bettye Cooper became our first Meter Maid.
In 1986, the 8"x 12" White Oak sub on the North side of the East porch had to be replaced about 16" had rotted, also 2 floor planks on the edge. An old Cypress sill (same age), although the rest of the Oak sill was in good condition we did not want an altered pillow that would mark the architecture - 2 new treated Pine planks replaced the original ones that were damaged. The porch floor is the original one. New 12" planks covered the sills all around the edge of the porch, treated pine was used, 5 new 2"x 10"x5’ treated pine replaced the old ones on the old frame (White Oak). All the new material was primed and painted.
The slender square posts (4") Tuscan Calonettes on the North porch had rotted 4 or 5 inches from the floor and were replaced with Red Wood plank; it was treated and painted. That porch floor has been replaced three times since the house was built.
In 1987 on July 4th lightning struck the old Oak tree (150 and years old) near the East view of the house and sent a limb through the roof over the living room hall near the East front door, leaving a large hole in the ceiling and the rest of the ceiling had cracked plaster which was made of wheat paste, glue and horse hair. The roof was repaired immediately (2 hrs.), in case of rain which came in at noon. The outside damage to the roof, walls, and porch was repaired and painted (Nov. 4).
The ceiling (a most difficult job) required the service of an expert who knew how to repair 127 year old plaster. The hole and cracks were filled with plaster and glue mix, then tape was put over all cracks. A coating of latex was used on the entire ceiling and new 6" border was put up to replace the old that was damaged. (All Expenses Paid)
Paul and Glenn Wheatley. They did the
painting, papering, and repairs for 50 years.
Gilbert Pierce. Jack Ward was 1st meter
reader, then replaced by Gilbert Pierce
who read meters for 40 years.
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