Restoration Update: Lime Mortar Details

One of the most exciting parts of the restoration is discovering the details in the original craftsmanship. While Wayne Thompson has been restoring the mortar between the bricks on the face of the Slave Quarters, he has taken the time to point out some interesting details.



The original lime mortar mix has deteriorated over time and each brick is being re-mortared by hand with a lime compound that will dry to the same color as the original in 14 days. While working on the jack arches, Wayne noticed a unique detail – the finished joints have a significant bead point in the mortar. While many have been reduced over time, he took a few shots to show the detail.




Now, the task is to recreate this bead point in the jack arches, one at a time.




The face of the building is slated to be complete by Friday.


And for a different perspective, a view of the house from the height of the scaffolding, or the second floor of the Slave Quarters.



Restoration Update: Plaster Preparations

As restorations move forward in the Slave Quarters, new supports are being put into place in preparation for plaster work. The technique used is known as lath and plaster. The design begins with wood slats known as laths, which are nailed horizontally across the wall studs. Each wall frame is covered in these pieces, tacked at the studs. The lath is typically about two inches wide by four feet long by 1/4 inch thick. Plaster is then applied, typically using a wooden board as the application tool. The applier drags the board upward over the wall, forcing the plaster into the gaps between the lath and leaving a layer on the front the depth of the temporary guides, typically about 1/4 inch. A helper feeds new plaster onto the board, as the plaster is applied in quantity. When the wall is fully covered, the vertical lath “guides” are removed, and their “slots” are filled in. After applying a second layer in the same fashion, leaving about a half inch of rough, sandy plaster (called a brown coat), a smooth, white finish coat is applied. After the plaster is completely dry, the walls are ready to be painted. Learn more about this technique at:






The flooring on the second floor is also half way finished and looking great. Without the hard work of Rogers Building Corporation, none of this progress would have been possible! Thank you, from everyone at Bellamy Mansion. 



Restoration Update: Fireplace

Last week, Mack and Andrew of Rogers Building Corp worked on replacing the support beam for the fireplace, so that Francisco, owner of CGC Historic Restorations and the mason/bricklayer for the restoration, could work on the fireplaces. Check back later for more photos of the finished fireplace!

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Genius Engineering: Mortise and Tenon Joints

Genius Engineering: Mortise and Tenon Joints

Because the fireplace would burn wooden framing placed under or around it, the craftsmen building the Slave Quarters were forced to used an alternative. They used Mortise and Tenon joints across the floor in front of the fireplace. This is a type of strong joint in which a mortise, or cavity, is cut into a piece of the frame. Then, a tenon, also called a tongue or tang, is made to fit inside the mortise. The joint pictured above allowed the craftsmen to support the second story without wooden frames being too close to the fireplace.

Restoration Update: Board Preservation

Board Restoration

Isn’t it incredible how they can restore original pieces of the Slave Quarters? Using LiquidWood and WoodEpox, our construction guys from Rogers Building Corporation are able to fill in spots of old wood to reuse the boards in the house.

Slave Quarters Restoration Update: New Floors!

Slave Quarters Restoration Update: New Floors!

Our second story floors were not in the best condition and sadly had to be ripped up. Check out the difference between the original second story floorboards pictured above and some of the updated floors. At least we won’t have to worry about falling through these new ones!

Here’s some more pictures of the restoration so far: