Friday, October 30, 2009

Cincinnati Iron Fence Co / Stewart Iron Works

I was on a quest to find out further information about Cincinnati Iron Fence Company. The cemetery iron historical sites gave mention to the company but listed them as having no corporate history available. I was afraid I had hit a dead end until I found a book in Google Books called “A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians Volume 2”bBy E. Polk Johnson, Lewis Publishing Company. In it, I found this tidbit:

“CLARENCE LeBus was born December 29 1862 near Oddville Harrison county Kentucky the second child in a family of seven children. His father Lewis Lebus born in Columbiana County Ohio came in 1855 at the age of twenty one years to Harrison County Kentucky where he demonstrated extraordinary business ability in amassing a large fortune partly in Kentucky and partly in California. His mother was Martha Cole Garnett Lebus eldest daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Garnett .


While specializing in farming and tobacco trading Mr LeBus has other large business interests. For many years he was president of the Electric Light Company in Cynthiana. He has given considerable attention to banking being the chief promoter and organizer of the Harrison Deposit Bank Cynthiana the Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company Cincinnati and the Union Bank & Trust Company Lexington. In each of these banks, Mr LeBus is a director. He is president of the Cincinnati Iron Fence Company, a phenomenally successful enterprise and a stockholder in numerous other enterprises. However Mr. LeBus is best known by his career in the tobacco world. Notwithstanding the risks and hazards that have always beset the tobacco business he has been uniformly successful. A prominent Cincinnati tobacconist and warehouseman once said of him “Le Bus never loses his head nor any of his money.””

A guy in Kentucky is the president of a Cincinnati fence company? This made more sense when I found an article about safeguarding cemetery iron. It mentioned that Stewart Iron Works, a company still in business, was the biggest fence company and supplied products to many companies, including Cincinnati Iron Fence Company and Sears & Roebuck, who simply attached their plaque to the fences.

Jackpot! I immediately navigated to their site and was beyond thrilled to see OUR fence listed in their catalog! No way!

Their website includes this history:

More than 120 years ago brothers Richard C. and Wallace A Stewart formed the Stewart Iron Works Company. From their roots as Stewart family blacksmiths they began a company that would soon produce wrought iron fence and furniture for the entire country.
This company would become known as the "World's Largest Fencemaker" and in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair, it was awarded the Grand Prize and Gold Medal Merit for iron fencing and lawn furniture.

Mystery solved… and we will get a quote from them about replacement picket tops and maybe a few more posts. It will be way cheaper than having new ones cast from sand molds.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

our gorgeous new (really old) fence

Coming soon to the Cottage of Stone: ornamental wrought iron fencing!

We spotted this gorgeous fence on Craigslist. It seemed expensive, yet at $25 a foot - it was actually a great bargain. We picked up nearly 100 feet of this gorgeous fence. The plaque reveals it was made by Cincinnati Iron Fence Company. I can't find any historical information on the company, other than some catalogues that indicate they produced fences from the late nineteenth through early twentieth centuries.

Steven ranks this right below the barn wood salvaging as the second worst excursion I have sent him on. It was nearly a three hour drive each way to the property the fence was at. Then fence was set in concrete. Not just the posts - but a strip of concrete the entire fence line. The post anchors were not salvageable. But Steven and the property owner spent 4 1/2 hours with crow bars and sledge hammers removing the fence.

We have to get our fence permit.. and this is a Spring project anyway... I just couldn't wait to share. Next up, I would like to find some iron cresting for the dormers to tie in with the new fence.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

little updates... send us happy thoughts!

My 4-yr old Dane at Maple Leaf Festival... He is having surgery tomorrow - read more below...

Steven got a bit side-tracked on the dining room project... Winter is rolling in here, and the doggies outside say BRRRRR! We looked at premade doghouses, but they were all so cheap and small. We have 3 big dogs at this house. No wimpy house will do! So Steven decided to design and make a doghouse on his own. Of course, the house had to be *just right* and up to his standards.

I have to say, the dogs will be warm and are extremely spoiled. He has put insulation in the whole thing! And it looks like a smaller version of our place shape wise. No stones on the dog house. They get siding.

Soon you will see pictures of the lovely Cottage for Puppies. Until then, the dining room is on hold.

I do have progress made on the living room. The lovely CB2 black and white rug, that the cat promptly "marked" upon roll out will be moved into the dining room. I ordered a chenille-jute woven rug from Lowe's - exactly like the one at Pottery Barn but with a smaller price tag! A stripey kilim overlay from Overstock will add a punch of color, and tie in the yellow curtains to the pink and green. The most wanted item right now is a chair I have been waiting on for MONTHS to come back in stock. More on that when I score that bad boy.

Finally, those who follow my blog have heard about my 4 boys quite a bit. Dane, who is 4, is scheduled for minor surgery tomorrow. He has a big bump, which looks like a huge Adam's Apple but is really just a cyst, that is being removed. After an ultrasound and an MRI, they determined it is not connected to his thyroid. So pelase send happy thoughts our way tomorrow morning!

Dane gives a baby goat a hug at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead

Friday, October 23, 2009

fall colors at the cottage of stone

Last weekend was the Maple Leaf Festival in our sleepy little town. Thousand of visitors come here to tromp through leaf-covered brick streets, buy handmade crafts, eat yummy treats and take a spin in the street carnival.

Our boys mowed down some funnel cakes and turkey legs before hitting the whirling rides. Even the baby took a few spins!

I think our yard is even prettier this week as the trees are more colorful. I snapped a few pictures after taking my boys out to a (rare) mommy / son lunch.

Pumpkins line the slate sidewalk... They look pretty against the lavendar. You can almost make out the scary silhouettes in the front windows! Witches, bats and skeletons, oh my!

A bit wider shot. After Thanksgiving, the blue spruce on the far left will be decorated with white fairy lights.

This pretty girl isn't mine... But she is parked right out front. I thought she was even more pretty framed in bright yellow maple leaves. Some day, a Porsche will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine! (But in black, not silver. Hey, I'm picky!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

buttery-yellow curtains in the living room

I a real happy with how nice the living room is coming along. I think the buttery yellow curtains have brightened the room. And when the sunlight streams through the sheers, it is just gorgeous.

Here is a peak:

The yellow IKEA curtains and sheers against the khaki-sage wall color:

I still can't believe people thought we should paint the trim! The hardware is from Bed Bath & Beyond:

Our entire ceiling has these great beams. I will be painting the ceiling a pale creamy taupe when the fireplace is finished:
Speaking of fireplace... Steven was at Pottery Barn buying me a present (a McKenna jewelry box in pale blue), when he found these candleholders on sale. The candles he found at Kmart and they match the curtains perfectly. (He is learning quickly!!) He has the fireplace all decorated with candles and bones when I came home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

curtains in the living room to make a statement!

Steven spent (most of the afternoon) Sunday hanging the living room curtains for me. While most people might not think hanging curtains should be a 3 hour event, I must tell you, when Steven does something, he does it right. He put up the hardware for three windows in the living room... which, I kid you not, required tape measures, levels, etc. Because if it was a 1/16th of an inch off, he would notice. It is nice having a perfectionist that makes sure things get done right.

Anyway... Ms Bagel Power, glorious blog reader, was kind enough to shop at Ikea for me and got all the curtains and sheers I needed for the living room and dining room. (Thanks again!) The living room curtains are up and they are lovely.
On my way out to Colorado, with me a safe distance from the house, Steven did admit he initially had concerns about the yellow curtains I picked out. He wasn't sure how the yellow would go with the sagey green walls. (Notice he said this AFTER I left Kansas?) But he quickly assured me that the curtains brighten up the room and he thinks they look great.
I did spend a lot of time pondering the living room curtains. I didn't want to do drop cloth curtains in there. I have a lot of neutral going on in the room, and really, I crave color! In my mind, the sagey walls were really just a neutral backdrop for the color I wanted to bring in. I didn't think they really register as a "color," so I wasn't too afraid about clashing.

My neutral living room walls are actually "Hazel Woods" by Ralph Lauren.

I will be making a drop cloth slipcover for the Queen Anne sofa. I think the casual slip will not only extend the life of the sofa (4 boys!), but also make it more laid back. Nothing screams comfort like Victorian, right? I will also be reupholstering the side chairs in drop cloth, and adding some pink accents... but more about that later...

I want to bring in some splashes of pink, and maybe just a bit of yellow, to go with the neutral sage and taupe. I decided to put together a quick photoshop of what it might look like... keep in mind, this photoshop was a quick and dirty, and is more than mildly dorky, so bear with me.

In case Steven ever loses his mind, I made the right half of the wall pale pink. I know this will never happen since the bedroom and dining room are already pink. The sage is here to stay a long time. There is the drop cloth Queen Anne (not so stuffy, right?) and some pink throw pillows. We picked up a chippy crackly plant stand from Good JuJu that will house my yellow-potted ferns. A new chenille-jute rug is definite. I am still on the lookout for a brighter rug to overlay. This kilim is super cheap on Overstock, but I'm not sold on it yet. I think the yellow Ikea curtains perk up the room. I will be collecting artwork here and there as well.

This B&W rug from CB2 will be moving into the dining room. It will work better with the pink and black.

The big hold up with the living room is the other half of the room. This is the side that we tore out a fake facade wall from. So we are left with a nasty looking leaning fireplace. I have plans to build floor to ceiling bookcases to the right of it. The chimney will be all boxed in, with a rustic mantle. I want to tile around the fireplace. Possibly mounting the flat panel TV above it. But we are still negotiating on that. ;)

Here is the fireplace wall right as we started demo. I find nothing attractive about the lighthouse wall paper. Which, by the way, was at ceiling AND chair rail heights. Double score!
Here is the fireplace after the wall came out. (Old framing, for the record, has 8 million nails in them.) We have been told that chimneys were sometimes built slanted like that to draw better. I just can't wait to cover it up!
I hope to put up a bunch of new pictures this weekend. It's just that with me in Denver, I have such limited time on weekends to blog!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

dining room painting has commenced!

While I am here in Denver, pulling my hair out over work and homework... Steven is painting the trim in the dining room. (Go, baby, go!) I started getting out the painting stuff on Saturday, but Steven stopped me on my one day home and said he promised he'd get it done this week. Isn't that sweet?

Anyway... I have been scouting out items for the dining room. We went to Good JuJu on Friday and *only* snagged a little metal basket for the dining room table. Don't cry for us too hard. We did buy an awesome antique farmtable for the kitchen.

I stopped by the Anthropologie in Park Meadows (Englewood, CO) and spotted these gorgeous little antiqued mercury vases for $18 a pop. They were so pretty, but I know they'd get broken if I tried throwing them in my checked luggage. So I am hoping the KC Anthro has them. They are not listed on the website, else I'd link a picture for you all. But I did find one going off on eBay, so here is their picture:

I also snagged a couple RCA dog ("Nipper") S&P shakers and such on eBay. You might remember, I have a pit bull for a service animal. Nipper has been rumored to be, at least part pit bull. He is also said to have served as a service animal. Nipper has a fabled past, but I love his story just the same. I think the B&W Nipper collectibles will look cute displayed in my pink and black dining room!

I received my curtains in the mail (thank you dear reader, bagelpower!!). So the room is coming together. Hopefully I will have more pictures for you this weekend!

How are your projects going?

And do you have any tips for cool stuff for my dining room?