The Enon Hall Restoration Part 1

The Old House Web

Bill and Gay Chapman have purchased Bill's ancestral home, Enon Hall, a four-acre estate near the Chesapeake Bay in Lancaster County, Virginia. They bought the house without first seeing the inside, and granted the elderly owner lifetime tenancy.

For the past year, Bill Chapman has kept a careful journal of his purchase and restoration of Enon Hall. Since going online a year ago, Bill has had contact with 14 previously unknown Hathaway descendants.

Here are excerpts from his journal.

The foyer door is open, welcoming Hathaways once again to Enon Hall for the first time in 60 years.

October 1999
Big day today! We went to Enon Hall for another day of landscape cleanup, and found ourselves walking through the inside of the house for the first time!

We've been waiting for this day for a long time...but we had no idea it would be today! Mr. Hayden looked very good and was in great spirits. One thing lead to another and next thing we knew, we were getting our first tour. So here's what we found, room by room.

Kitchen: This room is still a mess, so it was hard to get a grip on it architecturally. Gay and I both agreed that it is not readily apparent at first glance that it even is a kitchen. The fact that Mr. Hayden has his cot in there now doesn't help. Mr. Hayden said this room was added in the 1940s...but we have a picture from 1952 that doesn't show this addition.

(Note: The pictures below were taken by Bill Chapman in May, long after their first glimpse of Enon Hall from the inside, and after the house had been cleaned following the death of Mr. Hayden.)

(Click on pictures for larger view)

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/kitchen.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">Kitchen

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/dr52700.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">dining room
Dining room, with fireplace

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/library.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">library

Dining Room: Large and square with a fireplace on the west wall with a nice mantel. Also a shallow pantry on the west wall. Two windows on each side of the room. The back windows look into one of the shed additions on the back of the house. Once this addition is removed the room will be much brighter. Each window has nice wooden cornices and crewel drapes. Nice brass chandelier, which Mr. Hayden said he would leave.

Leaving the dining room, we passed a long narrow bathroom on the left, and an exterior door (presently leading into the shed addition) on the right.

The next room is the library which is in the original part of the house, to the right of the center hall. To the south end are nice bookcases built in by Mr. Hayden. There is a fireplace that has a heater venting into it. This room is smaller than the parlor on the other side of the hall.

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/hallfront.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">hallway
The center hall from the front door.

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/hall52700.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">hallway
Center hall from back door.

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/parlor.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">parlor
Parlor. In the background, William sweeps.

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/bedroom.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">big bedroom>
Upstairs large bedroom

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/2bdrm52700.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">small bedroom
Second, smaller bedroom.

<a href="[removed]onClick=openImageWindow('/imagesvr_ce/stories/bitmaps/10092/law.jpg', 'location=no,toolbar=false,status=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,width=500,height=450,resizable=yes,top=50,left=50')">law office
A law office used by a William Hathaway.

(Click on pictures for larger view.)

The center hall is spacious and bright with windows above the doors and a window at the top of the staircase. The staircase appears to be all original and the banister doesn't look like it's ever been painted. There is a small closet under the staircase. The front and back doors still have their original "HL" hinges and other old hardware. The center hall will be charming on a nice spring day with the front and back doors open.

Parlor: Located to the left of the center hall, this is a large room with a large and ornate mantel. Either side of the fireplace are doors leading onto the huge brick-floored screen porch.

Upstairs is a bedroom on either side of the hall. The larger bedroom to the left of the hall has a tiny bathroom in the front and a small closet. The other bedroom also has a small closet. You pass through this bedroom to get to the top room of the 1850s addition. This room is huge and interesting with a very high ceiling. The ceiling is split into four triangles of beaded board converging to the center. There is a small closet that still contains the exterior door that was used to access this room when it first served as Walter Hathaway's law office.

Throughout, the floors and trim were in great shape. Overall, we were very pleased with the interior condition of the house and the lack of modernization.

Our worst fears about the condition of the inside of the house turned out to be baseless. The worst really is on the outside for all the world to see. As Mr. Bobby Ball told us, the inside just needs a little "buttering up." Very exciting!

Through our conversation with Mr. Hayden, we got some more answers to nagging questions. Like "Where is Max Maple Mont?" I have always known about this collie's marker located somewhere outside the graveyard wall, but had not found it yet. Mr. Hayden pointed us directly to it at the southeast corner under a giant cedar.

Is the brick front walk that used to lead out from the front door still there? The answer was yes and we spent the afternoon digging out about 8 feet of it. It is a handsome basket weave pattern with a soldier course of bricks down each side. It is about 6-1/2 feet wide and in remarkably good shape, buried for at least 30 years under about two inches of dirt and grass.

November 1999
Made a quick trip to Enon Hall to check out the completed dock. Looks great! Makes a tremendous difference. My brother had been there during the week and uncovered almost all of the remainder of the front walk, all the way to the road. Only a small section left. The brick pattern changes several times in the course of the walk. Some of it is mortared, but most of it is not. He also cleared out the rest of the overgrowth at the front of the house.

December 1999: "Yet another nice December day, but a little on the windy side. Made a quick trip to Enon Hall to hang a Christmas wreath and limb up the cedar at the end of the brick walk in front of the house. Every little bit helps." (The newly exposed brick walkway is also visible.)

December 1999
Enon Hall is such a great adventure for the family and William loves going there on the weekends. It takes an hour and 20 minutes from our house to get there and he never once complains about the trip. He loves to hang out along the creek bank and collect all manner of treasures from the water's edge. Or he'll spend hours on the dock with a net scooping up a pile of oysters. What a great place to be a kid.

To Next Part of this Journal->
<-To Previous Journal entry
To Introduction and other parts of this story->
To Bill Chapman's Enon Hall Web Site->

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