Progress has been made this week in the renovation of the Humphreys House, but there was yet another setback. Mr. Ed Hammond, our champion in helping us to get the home, died in a tragic car accident this past week. The Town of Berlin will be sorely missing an amazing man, who did much for the town and those who lived and worked here. I was struck with an empty feeling when I heard the news, as we were so looking forward to sharing the completion of the renovations with Mr. Hammond. At his funeral, all dictated by Mr. Hammond before his death, he said to stick this in somewhere, and the words seemed to mean so much. The poem is titled "Success" and is often attributed to Emerson…
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.
Yesterday, we spent Labor Day as a family doing work on the home. Much has been done in the kitchen as far as clearing out the old paneling, old countertops and old cabinets. We are saving anything that may be of value, including wood and metal. What seemed to prove most time consuming was stripping the layers of old flooring away, layer after layer of vinyl and linoleum and particle board, to discover the original layer of hardwood floors, possibly 100 years old. There was even a spot that showed the original finish as well, staying preserved under all of the years. 
The only wall that we were going to see if we could remove is a small t wall, that we were glad to find was not a load bearing wall. Amazing to see how much more open it made it with just removing a small space. You can see the progress in the gallery of photos below. 
Nellie, our 10 year old, was spending some time outside across the street at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum, under a big old tree. She came running over to me to say that she wanted to suggest to the museum that the large tree be in honor of Mr. Hammond, as like the branches of the solid tree, he reached out to take care of those who needed it. When she returned from the museum, she came back with some knowledge on caring for the large boxwoods on the property as well, and we need as much help with those as possible!
We hope to make more progress this week, working towards completing the demolition phase and moving to the framing stage. Stay tuned for more on the Humphreys House!