In our last episode, I removed all the rocks from the Pony Express courtyard; however, the story could not possibly end there. Katie managed to get a great floor model deal on a new hot tub to go in the courtyard which pushed the courtyard paving to the top of the project list. We decided on paving stones as the best option but they require a 5″ deep bed of gravel and sand thus the digging began.
It seemed like this would be an easy enough task and it was for the first couple of wheelbarrow loads but then this happened.
The dirt just went on and on until our arms threatened to mutiny but we discovered how to tell when we could stop digging. We found a hard packed ash layer in the dirt that may have been from the fire of 1866 or even later. As luck would have it, the ash layer just happened to be level and at just the right depth for our gravel bed making it a perfect depth gauge. All the soil above it was new with very few artifacts to be found other than some new stuff. Surprisingly, there was a Nerf football buried in the corner of the yard which gives you a good idea of how old that soil deposit was.
Another challenge we faced was all of the tree roots of the black locusts we had removed at the beginning of the project.
They will have to be ground out but the good news is that the roots are dead so they won’t be pushing up the paving stones in years to come.
Another issue that cropped up was the condition of the post office wall in the courtyard. The hot tub will back up to it so it has to be repaired before the tub goes in. As you can see from the first photo, it was really shaggy but with a little finesse and a bit of tin, it should look pretty good.
This also gave us the opportunity to demolish a few attached apartment complexes.
Now, I have to figure out what to do with that old window in the post office wall. The sashes are rotted and many of the glass panes are actually plexiglass replacements. Perhaps it’s time to build my own window from scratch.