We’ve been a work recently improving the 1787 Seth Babb Homestead in Greeneville, TN and I wanted to share some initial pictures of the progress we’ve made thus far.
The stairwell has always been treacherous at the entrance to the 2nd floor. There was nothing but an open hole, which presents too much of a safety risk to be ignored. While the 2nd floor isn’t open to the public there is still a great need for staff members to go up and down the stairs to let the Homestead Vent on nice days.
So, I worked with the Museum and we agreed to put a period appropriate hand rail in to help maintain a safe working environment for all. The first part of that hand rail is in place now and I want to share the pictures with you. We start at the bottom of the stairwell and move upward. In the 2nd picture note how the hand rail terminates into one of the Support Beams for the 2nd Floor.
As you can see from the Picture on the right as we look back down the stairwell, you will notice the first part of the safety enclosure which has already been installed. Here are two more pictures of how that part looks.
Take a special look at the corner posts and how they are installed. They were taken from a 4 post bed frame that is of a similar age as the homestead. Canjoe took them from his own private wood collection (in his line of business that is a necessity) to use here. They provide a nice strong mount that will keep the wall from needing additional support and it is built to a modern day height standards so that no one can fall over the side easily.
Next up here, the other side is currently being assembled and will be finished off with an additional handrail that will complete the journey to the top of the stairwell. I should have those pictures soon and will share when they come in.
Squirrels have been making their way onto the 2nd floor and are causing damage to the structure. Additionally, there is a huge Ground Hog that has been seen near the structure. In order to control both we have constructed a door that provides access to the crawl space. The lock isn’t on it yet in this picture but it will have one soon. This will keep uninvited humans and animals from using the space for warmth.
Additionally, we have purchased two devices that use a combination of strobe lights and piercing sounds (that animals can hear, but not humans) that will drive away anything that tries to setup shop. They work at night and are quite annoying to the animals. The small amount of electricity in the Homestead is being extended so that one of these devices will be in the crawl space and the other on the 2nd floor. It’s a safe and natural way to do pest control without having to take their lives.
I want to give a special shout out to Canjoe John and his sidekick Marty who together deliver an quality historical result whenever we call upon them. We are lucky to have them as honorary Babbs! I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Betty Fletcher for alerting me to this problem and for serving as my Liaison to the Museum Leadership.