After installing the cast iron vent cover in the master bedroom, I immediately called former owners Bob & Betty Lou Crist to share the news. As always, they are excited to hear the latest news of renovation. My description of the vent could not do as good a job as a picture. Bob then asked why there would be a hole above the fireplace anyway. It did seem redundant, but my theory is that it was part of the original design to allow the installation of the more efficient Franklin Stove (more efficient than standard fireplaces). Bob had another question about why this might have been done when the home was built with one of the first furnaces in the area. My response was that the furnace was not installed until nearly 1890 as found in an early Shelbina Democrat newspaper. This information was discovered by Kathleen Wilham in her constant search of history. Bob was just as sure that the home was built with a furnace centrally located in the basement In fact he felt that installation of a furnace with ducts would not be possible after the home was built. We agreed to settle this manner with a duel the following morning at sunrise. However, the duel had to be cancelled when Bob's bad hip acted up and my wife told me that I could not take part in such a crazy idea (even though I have a history of immature behaviour). This type of disagreement is possible about many areas of the mansion due to the lack of reliability in spoken history. Well, written history too! I have another source of information that may help shed light on this situation. Documents are reported to be in Texas that may enlighten us in several areas. Anyone with information or interior photos about the mansion is encouraged to contact us.