Fragile Flooring

Fragile Flooring

Nov 03, 2021Team Walnut and Twine

When we started this mercantile adventure, part of the dream was to preserve as much of the 100-year-old building as possible. This was especially true of the hardwood floors! If you've been following along on here, then you may remember how surprise #3 (a large hole in the main level floor) put that dream in jeopardy.

The first step in assessing the situation meant meeting with our contractor and flooring experts. Wouldn't you know this meeting would uncover even more surprises?

Coming in at surprise #16, we learned the upstairs floor endured many sandings over the years (because this is some seriously old flooring), and the nail heads are almost exposed. This discovery means the upstairs floor may also need replacing. While not great news, there's still a chance we can just "kiss" it with a sander and seal it, so we haven't given up hope yet!

On the main level, a slight hump in the floor turned into an even trickier surprise #17 than anticipated. While the unevenness was hard to ignore, we did not realize the extent of what it would take to diagnose the cause. The road to understanding the problem required cutting away a large portion of the flooring from the middle of the building. Thankfully, they were able to determine the cause of the hump (a combination of a joist that is too high and several support beams that are too low), and a plan is now in place to repair it. And don't worry - the removed flooring is safe and waiting to be incorporated into other areas of the mercantile.


When purchasing the building, we learned about a cistern under the floor near the front door. So, surprise #18 shocked everyone when during floor removal (nowhere near the front entrance), the construction crew uncovered a 25-foot deep well with 10-15 feet of water! 

Is this the cistern and everyone's been wrong about its location all these years, or is it something completely different? We're not really sure, but we do know this was a crazy cool find. Seriously, look at that beautiful rock work!

Now to figure out what to do about all these new surprises...

(edit: Jill spoke with Phil and told Jessica this morning the cistern is definitely at the front door - so this is a well no one knew about. So cool! There will definitely be more to this story.)


Well, there you have it! Who knows what we'll discover next?

>>> This week's poll is already active so you can share your thoughts on the well. Should we turn it into a feature? A wishing well? Fill it and forget it? There are so many possibilities! Help us decide what to do here in Poll #13.

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Comments (5)

  • Andrea that is awesome! I hope we find some fun stuff like that in our well, too. We will be dropping a camera down in it soon. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

    Jessica@Walnut + Twine
  • Jessica! How cool! There is an antique store near us that found a well under their building and I assume must have pumped it dry to inspect. In it they found a very old penny, I couldn’t begin to recall the year. Some very old bottles and some other interesting artifacts. They installed a portion of the floor over the well as a very thick plexiglass of some sort so you could see down into the well and then displayed those items they had found with an estimate of the year the well was dug. I remember walking past it and for a moment forgetting about everything else in there because this was just so cool to read about!

  • What a great idea, Bob! I was hoping to hear different ideas on what could be done with this discovery. Thank you for sharing yours with us – I’m adding it to the list of possibilities.

    Sharon, I totally agree – we have to figure out a cool way to feature this! It’s just too unique not to share. 😊

    Jessica@Walnut + Twine
  • Test the water, if drinkable, test well. (Pump some out and see if refills) if it does then bottle and sell as Harrisburg’s Water. If not pump dry & install steps and sell tours. Merchandise your discovery.

    Bob Kinkead
  • I think keeping it as a feature is a must, somehow! What a stellar find ❤️

    Sharon McCallister

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