The investigation that will support the Dining Room restoration is in full swing. In order to facilitate the investigation and find as much pertinent evidence as possible I have removed most of the wood work from the room which mostly dated to the late 1930’s restoration. In this picture you can see what the Dining Room looks like currently.
Physical evidence is being found and closely documented. Since the investigation is still being done I am reluctant to share too much information because this is a very fluid process and our understanding of the how the spaces existed in the Federal Period is still evolving. One thing I can share is that we know the partition wall was moved in the Federal Period making the Dining Room larger and the adjoining space smaller. You can see in this picture the architectural ghost of where the wall butted up to the chimney breast and would have covered the fireplace. The ghost is the dark vertical line on the bricks.
While working in the rooms during the investigation I have plenty of opportunity to interact with the visitors and answer questions, which is one of the best parts of my job. The most common question I receive is “Have you found anything cool or unusual in the walls?”. The answer is “Yes I have”. While removing a baseboard from the partition wall a avalanche of plaster debris came spilling out and on the top was a ca. 1985 Casio Digital Watch. Apparnetly someone had their hand in the wall and lost their watch. The watch was turned over to our Collections Department where they will keep it in the Collection.
-Phil Mark, Director of Preservation