Halloween has come and gone and I’m proud to say that we hosted our first batch of trick or treators. Since purchasing the hotel, Katie and I have watched the place on Halloween just in case of any mischief but we’ve never seen any children before. It was a pleasant surprise and we sincerely hope that the first sighting of costumed creatures on the doorstep is a good omen for things to come in the Dayton downtown area. Once the children were properly sweetened up with Snickers and Reese’s Peanut butter Cups, Katie and I went back to our card game with the new neighbors.
Along with our bony companions, the table and chairs are a new/old addition to the hotel. They are 1800s originals from Virginia City which have, most assuredly, witnessed many an intense poker game and much boozing. Katie fell in love with them at the local antique mall and they have become a perfect addition to the saloon.
You’ll note that under the table, the floor has made a miraculous transformation. Katie and I decided to get some help from a flooring contractor to sand and top coat the floors that we nailed down. Of course, between sanding and top coat, it was our job to apply the stain.
This turned out to be a tedious and messy process that required us to be on hands and knees for hours doing the Karate Kid bit of “wax on, wax off” with the only difference being that we were using stain instead of wax. As for our new pairs of his and hers knee pads, they’re now worn out but the end result is pretty spectacular.
The look is really close to what the original floor looked like and has the added benefit of not having the pet urine smells that were present when we bought the place. But, to reassure the historical purist, we still encounter small reminders of the stench that was. When we sand the bottom of the door jambs, the delicate fragrance still gently wafts from the wood fibers. We plan on heavy coats of primer to encapsulate the experience for those who wish to sniff out historical clues in the future.
Another spectacular creation was the vanity for the first floor bath. Katie and I had been scratching our heads trying to figure out what to do with the space. We had been looking for an old piece of furniture to repurpose but to no avail. We could not find anything that was both attractive and the right size.
In desperation, I descended upon my prized stash of redwood church paneling that had been given to us by our friends Gail and Tom. Most of the panels were huge but there were a few smaller scraps that worked out pretty well.
I added antique ice box hinges, a cherry butcher block top and a talavera sink from Mexico. Now, it needs knobs for the doors and I’m thinking of Victorian brass filigree to complement the hinges. The mirror frame above is something that I made years ago and it will be perfect once I put the mirror back in.
Stay tuned for more fun additions. We are getting closer to receiving our Certificate of Occupancy and this requires more of the creative finishing touches that I’ve been looking forward to.