Monday, March 19, 2012

Our 1873 Carriage House, Good for Another 150 Years!

[This is a post Sally made on our old blogsite 12/03/11]

For those of you who watched our 1873 Carriage House being restored over the last two years, we *finally* finished it. Yahoo!

What originally started as a $500 interior paint job quickly grew to a complete rebuild. After popping off the old den panelling that had been used in an "improvement" in the late 1970's, we were surprised to find hay in the wall cavities. Mucking out the barn was a funny way to start the construction project. ... and no, we didn't find any ponies. We didn't find the walls' bottom plates, either, so we lifted the structure on posts and car jacks, and built a new foundation for the ancient structure.
However, we found lots of messages that had been left in those old walls. Someone celebrating a holiday in years gone by had written, "HAPPY NEW YEAR 1900!" The main carriage house was built in 1873 at the same time as the original Briarhurst, the home of the founder of Manitou, Dr. William Bell. The date of the lean-to additon was always a mystery, but it was solved when we had to repair a wall. Workers had written the 1917 date of their work on a board as well as their names and daily rate of pay. Several other interior boards had been used to test ancient paint colors. We are quite relieved that pale pink, the color on an old board, was *not* used to paint the carriage house.  We found that the most satisfactory color for our new exterior paint job was a lovely reddish sandstone color that we call Garden of the Gods Camo.
Tomorrow, Dec. 4th, our inn will be on the Old Colorado City Historical Society's B & B Tour, a fund raiser for their History Center. We are proud to have the oldest structure on the tour. Come visit!

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