Restoration: 2000 to 2002

* * The Purchase of the Albright 'Betsy Ross' House * *

This page describes our restoration efforts of the Albright House, starting when we first purchased it Oct. 2000. Eventually, Rob & Carol will live in one side of the house (718) when they happily retire to Fort Madison.

So, why DID we purchase this "money pit" in the first place? Well, here's the story.

The Albright House, Oct. 2000

The Albright House, Oct.2000

Prior to 2000, the house was owned by a private citizen of Fort Madison, Kenneth J. Lampe, who purchased it at a public auction in 1985. The house was auctioned for back taxes by members of the last family to own the house. In addition to selling the house, all of the interior furnishings and fixtures were sold as well.

After the auction, the house lay empty and unused, and began rapidly deteriorating. The roof leaked, and area youth used it as a "clubhouse." Windows all over the house were broken from rock-throwing, doors were ajar from broken locks, the roof hatch was removed (and rain poured inside), and brick walls were falling apart.

Rob & Carol Davis purchased the house in order to save it from further deterioration. Bit by bit, they have been restoring/rehabilitating it with help from grants awarded by the State Historical Society of Iowa.

* * Year 2001 of the Albright 'Betsy Ross' House Restoration * *

During 2001, we concentrated on rebuilding the integrated (or built-in) gutter system around the roofline. The gutter system had to be complete before the new roof could be started.

The roofline perimeter measures 230 linear feet, and the eaves are 3 feet wide. Lots of lumber to prep before it could be installed!

See the Pics

* * Year 2002 of the Albright 'Betsy Ross' House Restoration * *

During 2002, we finished re-roofing the house with long-lasting synthethic slate tiles. All winter long, from Dec. 2001 to May 2002, the heavy-duty roofing felt held up to the elements. Now, we could have the slate shingles and copper flashing and saddles applied.

We also had the sandstone foundation repointed around the entire perimeter of the house, both inside and out. There were places where the mortar was completely missing and air whistled through. Not nice in the winter!

See the Pics