Owning The Lamson House has been an adventure. From the moment that my husband and I saw that the house was for sale, we knew that this house was the house of our dreams. When it was dilapidated and everyone else said that it would be too much work to save, we saw a house with good bones and beautiful features. We saw a house that was worth saving.
Prior to moving to The Lamson house, we lived in a much, much smaller house on Wandle Avenue. When we adopted our two youngest children, we had really outgrown that house. 2 adults and 5 children do not fit comfortably in 1,300 square feet! But we had stayed there because we loved our little house, our neighbors and we loved Bedford. We were thrilled though when the opportunity to buy The Lamson House came about. We could stay in Bedford and finally have enough room.
Moving into a known disaster
The first months in The Lamson House were not easy. There were no functioning kitchens (despite the fact that there were 3 kitchen in the house). The carpets were dirty and in some cases soiled by animals. The water line to the house was so badly corroded that you could not turn on two faucets or shower heads in the house at the same time. We spent a lot of the first few months living in the house just cleaning and ripping out carpet. We cooked a lot of meals on the grill and on a camp stove. But little by little, we got the house to be where it was livable.
But livable was not enough. We wanted to restore the house to the grand lady she had once been. And so once we had gotten the house to the point where we could function like a normal house, we started on the long and arduous process of refurbishing the house. Cabinets and old appliances were pulled out, rooms were painted, windows repaired, tile laid and all kinds of little and big do-it-yourself projects were accomplished. To date, we almost have the first floor done and it is stunning. Only two more floors to go! My husband and I often joke that we will probably be done fixing up this house about the time we are ready to retire (which for the record is about 25 years from now).
Dealing with the unexpected
And these projects have not been smooth sailing or even planned sometimes. There was the time that the pipe under the toilet on the second floor split for five feet of the pipe and caused water and sewage to cascade through the walls every time you flushed. Or finding out that the furnace on the third floor was in such bad shape that simply turning it on could have posed serious health risks to us in the house. But these are the kinds of emergency problems you expect in an older house. And you stop whatever project you are working on, make a new plan about how to fix the new and unexpected problems and then move forward with fixing the problem before returning to the original project you were working on.
Bedford can be saved too
In many ways, I see The Lamson House as a reflection of The City of Bedford. There is no doubt that Bedford has come on some rough times and that those rough times are a direct result of the neglect of the people who should have been in charge of keeping things up. And now, there are some people who say that Bedford is a lost cause. That she is not worth the trouble it would take to save her. But I do not believe that this is true. Yes, there is a lot of challenging work ahead. And there will be unexpected problems that will interfere with any plan that is put in place to try to address the known issues. But as anyone who has restored a house can tell you, you just focus on fixing one thing at a time. Before you know it, you will look around and realize that you have made some pretty spectacular changes.
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