We immediately realized the miracle of our house was finding such a treasure trove of details, especially in the paneling and hardware. Because of these details, we can feel that we actually see and feel this house in the same way that those who came before us did.
In fact, it was a special little detail that allowed us to recover the paneling when it was stolen just before we dismantled the house (another story for another snowy day). On the inside of the door to the small parlor closet under the dog leg staircase, there is a delicately carved latch in wood that, as well as the inside of the door, retains the original red 1747 stain of the first room of the house. Once that was discovered, all the other pieces became obvious and were retrieved.
Of course, the very first piece of iron seen at the Hall Christy house is the original 1747
numerals that were most likely on the exterior side of the original fireplace wall and removed to the stoop when the 1760's addition was made until we found it.
The doors and cupboards throughout this house display a plethora of original hardward. All the doors that make up the paneled fireplace wall in the parlor including that small door under the staircase, the staircase door and door to the dining room have beautiful original H & L hinges, as well as a heart-shaped bean latch and original Norfolk latch. The dining room raised paneled fireplace wall and cupboards has the original H hinges on top and H & L hinges on the bottom cupboard with original brass knob and escrutcheon. Elsewhere , a door recycled from the Skidmore house has an incredible pair of miniature Hudson Valley pan hinges. There is a freeform Suffolk latch on a closet door. We saved the animal pen that was in the cellar, converting it to a wine cellar thus saving some remarkable pintels. Also down there are a pair of original shutters with their H & L hinges that we have recycled as cupboard doors. Every door in the house has retained some form of these hinges and latches, too numerous to detail here. Even the guest quarters over the garage has doors with orginal paint and the massive Hudson Valley pan hinges.
The Halls believed in recycling and what
we call the Keeping Room was a previous
building brought up to the original house.
The way of attaching it was quite unique.
Large iron straps are attached to the original
house's posts above the new beams, come
down through those beams and are pinned with iron spikes through a hole in the end of the strap. They used what they had for the pin including an eel spear.
We, also, believe in recycling so placed in this room the wonderful fireplace surround we found in the Skidmore house (now our garage and guest quarters) that has a side cupboard with butterfly hinges that retain their original leather cushioning. We also used a Dutch door found in Dutchess County as the main entrance into this room from outside that has its original paint, the massive Hudson Valley pan hinges and lock.
It is out of respect for this incredible original detail that we were very careful to replicate the early iron on any of the new structures on the property. Our little barn made of recycled posts and beams in the Hudson Valley vernicular has hand forged pan hinges and period correct latches. I designed and had a blacksmith make the latches for our driveway gate with the same respect for detail in mind. Even the gazebo doors have actual period latches!
If God is in the details, His presence is certainly in the Hall Christy House.