February 23, 1863
We are still up in Dunstable. Rachael, John and Eleanor are trying to reconstruct the pieces of the circles. Jason and Simone are working on the console and mapping the wiring. Michael is feeling a bit out of sorts having nothing do. He has taken to sketching the old house and making notes. I asked about this. He said, “It’s a beautiful house. It’s a shame to have fallen to such ruin.” He’s right. The front porch had magnificent woodwork. With a few braces, I’ve walked around the bottom floor. The rooms had beautiful tiles and a comfortable layout. It isn’t as formal as the Barrow House we used to work in, but the rooms are the right size for a small family. The house had speaking tubes instead of bells, but the two were energetic scientists so I suppose something more modern makes sense. The kitchen had a stove and oven – amazing for the 1840s. They still aren’t common now. There was a sink with a hand pump. The dining room was small. The most it could have seated was eight and they would have to be very good friends. The Barrow House dining hall could manage twice that. Furniture dotted the house here and there. I have been told that Sean McNeill had taken up woodwork as a hobby. They aren’t the same quality as Woodson work, but they are passable tables and cabinets. The chairs left on the front porch look comfortable save for the peeling paint and rotting slats. Michael is right, it is a shame the house has come to such ruin. It is winter now and the time to tend to gardens. I’ve started pruning some of the trees. Liam assists us both by moving pruned branches or bracing rotting boards. Millicent says we’ll be gone by spring, but it seems a shame not to restore some of the beauty it once held.
Millicent has said we will head to Southampton at the end of the month. She has promised Michael and I a stay on the Isle of Wight. It won’t be the best time for a holiday. The beaches will be horrid cold, but I expect we will have time for a walkabout or two.
If you have questions, please leave a note. Charles said, these things are quite efficient – better than the post.