What we are about...

This is a chronicle of renovations of our home, an historic inn. It is our goal to work toward the historic preservation and careful renovation of this much loved landmark in rural southern Ohio.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Saga continues... Renovations in 2014

After having sorely neglected posting  in my renovation blog I have decided to play catch-up.  I have nothing else to do during the holidays, right?      If you would like a recap of all the adventures so far check out our "renovations" page to the right or click HERE.
Otherwise, here is what we have done since the last renovation post which showed the work we did to the large parlor and dining room floors and walls last year. I just now realized it has been a year!
We have been busy !

January 2014 Living Room/Dining Room

March 2014 1st flight of Stairs

In March we replaced the thirty year old carpet  on the first flight of steps and painted them black...then quickly painted them white!  Someday we want to install a floral runner but the budget will not allow it just yet.

Guest Bedroom 3rd floor

In March 2014 we also renovated a storage room into a small guest room on the third floor.
that is my son Jonathan (16) helping me with rebuilding the plaster damaged by a leaking (fixed) boxed gutter.  I refinished the floor after painting. this little room was my project with Jonathan.

The summer of 2014 focused more on less exciting but major projects.  We had a new sewer line re-routed through our basement and out the old coal chute.  We still have that project yet unfinished.  Rebuilding what used to be the coal chute is a bit daunting since it involves building a wall adjoining the stone foundation.  The side yard is still upended. 

October November 2014
New Roof! 

Thanks to Jim Villarreal Construction (and our Insurance company) the damage caused by last winter's ice and wind allowed opportunity to replace the entire roof.  Jim was certainly the right man for the job since he was always thinking "outside the box"...the box gutter, that is!  Dealing with the architecture of a roof adjoining boxed gutters required extra care (and materials) . We highly recommend Jim! 

James Lynch repairing bricks on the parapet wall

There is the boxed gutter on the left 

'looking worse before it looks better'

Finally over Thanksgiving weekend, 2014 we gutted the kitchen. Why THAT weekend?? The monster dumpster from the new roof job was scheduled to disappear just after that weekend and we wanted to be able to use it since it was not nearly full.  James and I (Julie) tore it out in two days. Cabinets, walls, flooring (layers and layers), and dropped ceiling. 
Here is the sequence of two years  of the kitchen's progress (or lack thereof)
floor damaged from burst pipes flood 2012
whitewashed and cheap linoleum laid down over damaged tiles
a 'temporary fix'......that lasted 2 years. 2012-2014
This is the kitchen December 2014 just after gutting it
The door on the left was hidden under drywall in 1969 renovation.

Can you see the shadows of the where the original wood trim used to be? Fear not! Charles "Red" Lamphier saved every bit of the trim in the 1950s-70s and stored it all in the attic.  Thanks, Red!

Our new plan for the kitchen will be to restore all the original window and door trim and move the sink/plumbing away from the window as well as all cabinets away from the window to open them up again!   

Thursday, August 7, 2014

C'mon Home! to our 3rd Annual Brown County Inn Picnic!

C'mon Home! 
to our 3rd Annual Brown County Inn Picnic on September 6, 2014 at 1pm.

This is a down home Potluck Picnic (BYOB) with free live music from the Back Porch Hounds!

Make it a weekend and come to the "unadvertised exclusive concert" the night before with an American treasure.  Email us for details.

No room at the inn for overnight accommodations, however.  For the young and brave we offer primitive camping in our 6 acres across the street. (some wooded, some not)  Porta potty available.

Check out some photos from previous picnics.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deadlines, deadlines!

We often ask ourselves why do we impose these crazy deadlines for renovation projects??
Well, our recent house concert on April 13 was an occasion that answered that question.
We began our grand parlor floor renovation the day after our January 19 house concert and finished the week before the April 13 concert.  Are we having fun yet??
We had a blast and we want MORE!
Ronny Cox, the Actor/ Singer/Songwriter and Storyteller we discovered is also a downright wonderful human being.
He came to our place to perform, accompanied by equally down to earth, gracious gentlemen, T. Bruce Bowers, (violin, mandolin) and Radoslav Lorkovic (keyboard and Accordion).
All stellar professionals performing with the same enthusiasm for our (tiny by comparison) audience as they do for a packed theater.
I would like to thank all of you who brought food to share. It is appreciated more than you know!
And a huge thank you to our dear friend, Stanley Sporing who provided the professional keyboard and speakers (and sound board). You are a lifesaver!
Please keep checking our official Ohio Brown County Inn website for upcoming concerts. Our next is May 10, 2014.

Here are some amazing photographs of the concert by the inimitable Steve Ziegelmeyer.

    T. Bruce Bowers and Ronny Cox                            ©2014 Steve Ziegelmeyer  

A very good time was had by all.                 ©2014 Steve Ziegelmeyer  

T. Bruce Bowers                                           ©2014 Steve Ziegelmeyer  

Radoslav Lorkovic   ©2014 Steve Ziegelmeyer  

Ronny Cox                                     ©2014 Steve Ziegelmeyer  

Ronny Cox, T. Bruce Bowers, Radoslav Lorkovic with (some of) my family. ©2014 Steve Ziegelmeyer  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Time Travels in Renovation

James unearthed a gem in his research of our home's history in the Brown County Ursuline Academy Alumni Association Yearbooks detailing their renovations of the Inn beginning in 1911.

We thought we might be pioneers in the restoration of the old house. Of course, we knew very well the Lamphiers replaced the heating system, restored the front portico, added new box gutters to the rear, remodeled the kitchen in the 
1960s , and on and on. And we knew the Gendreaus replaced the roof, added new box gutters to front and side, re-papered the wall and carpeted the floors in the 1980s, and on and on. But the Alumnae Association, who had started managing the Inn in 1911, out-did us all in 1920-22. As of 1920, "everything inside and outside" the Inn "seemed to need renewal." Two years of renovations (which will be detailed in our little history of the Inn) refreshed and modernized the old building and, as the Alumnae reported, "the old Inn stood up and rubbed its eyes!"  Later, the Alumnae minutes reported that the Inn was now "a thing of beauty and under new management, hopefully, a joy forever!"

We hope to mine more gems (and photos) from the Association archives. I am sure there will be enough to fill a book but for now, we will be sharing more time traveling reports from time to time. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Grand Parlor Renovation

Please check out our new website dedicated to house concerts, event hosting, history, books and all things civilized.

But keep visiting us here for all the nitty-gritty,  behind the scenes life and labors in the ever ongoing saga of renovation and architectural redemption of this grand old place!  

January-February 2014
Our new year's resolution is to finish the first floor wood floor renovation.  Notice I did not say "refinish".  Oh, if only it were that simple!  This project has been a very long time coming. But we penciled it in our calendar to be done precisely between January 20 and April 13.  Why so exact?  That is exactly how much time we have between house concerts.  For the rest of the year we (I) have scheduled a concert in our home for every month of the rest of the year (except December).  
Sometimes I wonder why we impose these deadlines on ourselves. It can be so stressful! But we do realize from looking back, that it the best way to get things done.   Truth is, we are double minded and hopeless multi-taskers.    
Here are some before and during shots.  Once it is done we will have a nice tidy, Before/After sequence but I cannot wait to share our pain.  So here you are:

 This is with the carpet during Thanksgiving. This is days before we painted.

Here we are days after painting the ceiling, molding, trim and walls. Hardly any furnishings because of the impending concert and the floor job.  I tell you, it took forever to paint the molding that  I (Julie) must have listened to every episode of NPR's This American Life archive while painting.
 It was almost a pleasure!
On a very inhospitable icy January day we still had 28 brave folks come to hear the wonderful
John Wort Hannam in concert here!  He was so great! And a super great human being!
The next day we tore into the carpet.

January 20, 2014
Aren't I pretty? Under the carpet was 'battleship tile' and under that was this black tar-like adhesive. Nasty stuff!

James made much better progress than I

Here is James and Jonny sanding on February 9. Great progress!
Jonny is on the handheld edger and James is on the belt sander, rough sanding.
Next was the Orbital sander, then the Waterlox finish.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

We have a new website!

We have a new website!

For information on House Concerts, Event Hosting, 
our store link, directions and more, go to:

But keep visiting this site!
We will revert this BLOG back to it's original intent;
an ongoing chronicle of our renovations!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What is a House Concert?

Ohio Brown County Inn

Concert Series

St. Martin, Ohio
What is a house concert?

                First of all, it is a concert rather than a party with background music. It is important to make that distinction.  It is an actual sit-down, cozy, down-home concert in our living room (Such that it is in our big ol' lovable work in progress)!  The idea is as old as the hills but house concerts have made a recent resurgence in the grass roots music industry.  
 As you know, we live in a rural area that has very few venues for live music, so house concerts provide a unique opportunity for music lovers to interact and enjoy world class musicians, singers and songwriters. 
All this for $20 (100% goes to the artist) per person, per concert. There will also be merchandise (CDs) available from the guest artist.
As hosts, James and I will provide coffee, tea and table wine and just a few snacks, however, if you felt so inclined to bring along a snack or dessert to share it would be GREATLY appreciated but not required!  As hosts to these fantastic events we do not profit financially in any way. That being said, we are enriched in so many ways by the music and the stories of each guest artist in this intimate setting as they play for us and socialize with us.  So please join us for this fun and thrilling experience!
Please let us know if you would like to come as we would like to make sure we have adequate seating.  And of course, please feel free to bring friends!   RSVP julielynch@tds.net

Upcoming Concerts

Go to our new website for concert schedule and details and other event hosting.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Concert in Our Home!

My quote on the ConcertsInYourHome.com website:

"Allie performed as a consummate professional yet has a genuine heart
 for connecting with the audience during and after the show. Her talent is stellar.
Her videos are great but her live performances are spine tingling.
 Her vocal range and control is amazing.
Then, of course, there is her gifted songwriting. I can't say enough about this young artist.
Except, don't let her age fool you. You won't be disappointed."

Saying goodbye until next time.