Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Old, new, and questions.....

View of north porch with newel post

When we first saw the Benjamin House, a green wooden fence that matched this newel post separated the drive from the backyard.  The railing that attached to the green post was a green 2 x 6 that my wife's hand could not easily grip.  We looked for a railing system that would support our aging knees and diminishing balance, but the answer was elusive!  Different people measured and made suggestions, but none seemed to want the project.  Finally, after three years of talk a company from Quincy agreed to build the handrails when business slowed in the winter.  The Spring of 2015 brought more than just pretty flowers!  The matching rails  now adorn the front, south, and north porches.  This should help our visitors of all ages from the young trick or treat goblins to the long time admirers of Shelbina history.  The north porch is a masonry construction that the Crist family installed and Bob often lamented that he should have redone all the porches this way before the home was placed on the National Historic Register.  It is a lot less maintenance.  We now need to strip and paint the wooden porches, but the handrails conform to Registry guidelines.

We, and Shelby County Historian Kathleen Wilhelm, have not found a photo of the north porch from before 1960.  The Todd boys (Mike & Butch) gave us some insight of a porch that used to connect to the west wall of the mansion.  It too is long gone.

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