Pictures of progress (
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1-13-06 Not too much going on right now. I used some of the beautiful weather we have been having to spend some time outside clearing trees. I also have started installing studs (and wiring for lots of electrical outlets) for one of the walls in the basement. This will be part of the workshop. You can never have too many outlets.
2-23-2006 We have very bad news. Merlin the castle cat got sick and passed away. This was VERY unexpected, he was only about a year and a half old. We noticed he was feeling out of sorts, and Patty took him to the vet. They said he had fluid building up around his lungs, and referred us to another vet. They took X-rays, a sonogram, and drained the fluid. They send the fluid out to be tested to see if they could determine what caused the fluid build-up. They told Patty to take Merlin home to await the results. Soon after Patty arrived at home, Merlin died. It's amazing how attached you can get to these furry little people. He will be greatly missed.
Patty's sister Mariann (Matron of Honor), Patty, Father Tucker, Me, Mark Eastwood (Best Man)
Father Tucker, Patty, and me.
3-16-2006 Many people assumed for a long time that Patty and I were already married. That was not so until recently. Patty and I have known each other for over 30 years, but I was finally able to convince her to take the big step. We were married on March 16, and have now moved into the castle. Princess Patricia is now Queen Patricia. This must be a "happily ever after" in the making. Patty grew up in West Virginia. For a little story about West Virginia wives,
4-11-2006 Since the move and the wedding, I have not had much time to work on the castle. After getting married, I was informed by my lovely wife that I had "husbandly duties" to perform. This sounded pretty good until I found out that "husbandly duties" are such things as taking our the garbage, mowing the lawn, etc. Anyway, I did find a little time to get back to castle building work. I've started to install the wallboard in the family room -- OOP's, I mean the gathering chamber.
4-14-2006 The castle is so full of stuff, that I've decided we should build an outside storage building to hold stuff like lumber and misc. building supplies. We can also store the lawnmower and yard tools. Moatmonster was kind enough to offer to help dig a hole for the new building. It will probably be about 20 by 20.
4-17-2006 We have not seen our friend Lenny for quite a while. His blockpile appears to have been taken over by this new guy. I guess we will call him Lenny Jr.
4-23-2006 I should have mentioned this before, but our kitchen is almost finished. The total size is about 18 by 18, including the pantry and broom closet. The kitchen also connects to one of the tower rooms, which is not yet finished. The kitchen is a pretty much normal kitchen, I couldn't talk Patty into cooking over a fireplace.
4-23-2006 We had a visit from Mike and Julie. They are thinking about perhaps building a castle and wanted to come up to see how ours is coming along. I told them I think they should build. When they get started, I will post information about their project if they want me to.
4-24-2006 THE DAY OF THE SIEGE - The weather looked ominous. Little did we know that our modest castle was about to come under attack. The forces of -Princess Anya the terrible- placed Dupont Castle under siege. For the entire story, go to:
The Siege of Dupont Castle
5-10-2006 We had a visit from Chris and Sharon who stopped by to see the castle. They seemed to enjoy their visit.
5-19-2006 I now have most of the drywall up in the Greeting chamber (living room) and the gathering chamber (family room). It still needs to be "mud and taped". It would be nice if we could find someone to hire to do this. I have lots of other stuff to do.
6-5-2006 The concrete for the footers was delivered by Ginger, our concrete delivery specialist, and was put into place by John, our concrete placement expert. Queen Patricia is supervising.
6-5-2006 The footers are now in. I have ordered block to finish the walls, it should be here in a couple of days.
6-6-2006 Cousins - cousins - cousins. Some of Patty's relatives stopped by for a visit. It was nice seeing them. We hope they stop by again soon.
6-13-2006 Yesterday, we took delivery of the blocks we need to build the new storage shed. I have placed two rows of blocks so far. I may hire a block layer to do the rest. I have so many other things to do.
6-17-2006 We found some block experts who were willing to come up in the heat and lay down some blocks for us. These are Chad and his cousin Eric.
6-18-2006 Between yesterday and today, Chad, Eric, and Harry have completed about 3/4 of the blocks required to build the shed. This work would probably taken me about 8 days. They still have a little to do, and then I can get to work on the roof.
6-24-2006 The block walls are now finished except for the parging. I have bolted the pressure treated 2 X 8's to the top of the blocks. I then installed a main support beam made up of 3 18 foot long 2 X 10's with a 2 X 8 along the top to stabilize the ends of the rafters. The rafters are made of 2 X 8's which are 12 feet long. Soon, I will be covering this with plywood.
7-2-2006 Our friends Mark and Barbara came up for a visit. While here, Mark helped with the installation of shelves in the utility closet in the kitchen.
7-2-2006 While us guys were working on the closet, Patty and Barbara made a great dinner including a castle cake for dessert.
7-4-2006 Dave and Julie stopped by to see the castle. They were Patty's neighbors back in Alexandria. It's nice to see old neighbors once in a while.
7-8-2006 The "knights of the concrete" arrived to pour and finish the floor for the storage shed. Queen Patricia supervises.
7-8-2006 Richard and John did a great job of finishing the floor. Soon we will have a storage shed. I still need to finish the roof, install the doors, and do the work necessary to waterproof the outside walls so I can backfill.
7-9-2006 The roof sheathing (5/8 inch plywood) has been nailed down.
7-23-2006 We had a visit today from Sir Buzz, and Sir Joe from Chateau LaRoche
in Loveland Ohio. They are taking a castle tour of the northeast on their motorcycles.
Patty and I visited their castle several years ago, now they have visited ours. It was
fun having them here.
8-2-2006 We have a place for a half bath on the first floor. I guess I'd better get to work on it.
8-3-2006 This is the same space with the wallboard installed.
8-5-2006 We had a visit today from some ladies Patty used to work with, and some of their friends and family members. This was the first time they came for a visit, we hope they return soon.
8-16-2006 This is the finished half bath. We now have a bathroom on the first floor as well as the ones in the basement and on the second floor. This bathroom is designed to be a somewhat handicap accessible. It has a 36 inch wide door that opens out to make it possible to get a wheelchair in if it becomes necessary, and also has a grab bar.
8-19-2006 We had some friends from the D.C. suburbs come up for a little party. Patty, Beverly, and Barbara all have birthdays around the same time, so we combine them into one big party. We had a brunch, it was great fun.
9-2-2006 We have found someone who is going to help us with our wallboard work. This is Gene. So far, he is doing a good job.
9-7-2006 This is the gathering chamber (family room). Gene finished the wallboard work a few days ago, and I have painted it with a base coat. We still have to install the hardwood floor, and we have a lot of decorating to do (final paint, molding, etc.). In the meantime I hung a few items on the walls to make the place look a little better.
9-7-2006 Gene has also finished the wallboard work in the feasting hall (dining room). Here again, I have put on a base coat of primer. Lots left to do in here.
9-7-2006 I just realized that I have not updated lately on the storage shed. Here is a photo. The walls are done except for the parging. I have put a temporary rubber (EPDM) roof on so it is now more or less weather tight.
9-14-2006 I just happened to look out the kitchen window and see Rita Deer (that's what Patty calls her) and her baby. They were about 25 feet from the castle. I looked out the tower window and saw two more small ones, but was not quick enough to get a photo of them. They move pretty fast when they know you are looking at them.
9-18-2006 I went to a local auction the other day. I was surprised to find some medieval style swords and other castle like stuff. Of course, I had to bid on it and I was able to buy most of the items I bid on. These will help decorate the castle when the time comes, and of course, the swords will help defend the castle in case we run out of water balloons.
9-27-2006 We were able to get our friend Chad and his friend Steve up to do the parging on the storage shed. I have been asked what parging is. To parge a wall is to coat the outside of the blocks with a coat of mortar. The wall on the right has not yet been parged, and the one on the left has.
9-28-2006 This fellow came to our door trying to sell us insurance. I've seen him on T. V. but I told him we already have GEICO insurance, and he jumped in his car and left.
9-29-2006 We had a visit from our friends Clyde and Eileen. They came up from the D.C. area to see how we were doing. We enjoyed their visit.
10-3-2006 Now that the parging is finished, I need to backfill around the shed. Before I can do that, I installed drain pipe. The black pipe you see coming out near the footers is a 4 inch perforated pipe that will catch any water that gets near the wall underground. The wall has been coated with a black tar substance that will help keep the water from getting into the block wall. When it runs down the outside of the wall, it gets down to the gravel at the bottom of the wall, and runs into the pipe and is carried away from the foundation. I placed a piece of 1 inch Styrofoam insulation in the photo to show how it goes in place. This will be placed around the wall in any place there will be soil thrown up against the wall. This is not for heat insulation, it is to keep the stones in the soil from punching little holes in the tar sealer.
10-15-2006 We had a reunion of sorts. Patty's former roommates (just the girls, not the guys) of long ago came up. These ladies have only been all together in one place a few times in the past 20 years. They brought their husbands along, and everyone seemed to have a great time. We need to do this more often.
10-19-2006 I noticed our friend "Stealthy Stickbug" on the wall. I reminded him that although he blends in well with a tree branch, he sticks out when he sits on the blocks. To see a couple of full size photos of Stealthy, go here.
10-19-2006 Winter is coming soon. We live at the end of a one half mile driveway with hills. I bought an old snowblade, and built an adapter to mount the blade on the Moatmonster. I'm not sure how well this will work, we will find out when the snow comes.
11-10-2006 While Queen Patricia was out walking Galin, she found a nest of dragons eggs. By the time I got the camera and went out to take a photo, they were breaking out of their shells. I hope we get the moat built by the time they grow up.
11-28-2006 Sue, Dave, and Lindsay stopped up for a visit. They weren't here very long, but they seemed to enjoy themselves.
12-8-2006 They weren't predicting snow for our area, but here it is. This will be the first year we will be here during the winter. I like snow, but I hope we don't get too much of this stuff.
12-12-2006 The weather is still good enough to work outside, and Moatmonster volunteered to help finish digging out the area where the garage will eventually be built.
12-12-2006 The storage shed is just about finished. I still need to do a little more work on the roof, but if I don't get to it this year, it's good enough to last through the winter.
More pictures to follow.
Click here for Answers to frequently asked questions about Dupont Castle.
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to Jim or Patty.
Princess Patricia and I would like to say a special THANK YOU to the following people who have volunteered time and energy to help with the work at the castle site.
I would also like to thank the following people for advice, technical assistance, encouragement, and moral support:
John Miller - Bull Run Castle
Ron Bigbee - Castle Avalon
Sir Randy Michael - Chateau LaRoche
Peter Wing - Wings Castle
Sue Maxwell - Ravenwood Castle
Mike Freeman - Castell Gwynn
Roger Greim - Kataryna Castle
Bruce Busboom - Busboom Castle
Meme Hardin - Hardin Castle
Wyatt C Mortensen - Sleeping Beauty Castle
David O'Connor - Castle Anam Cara
We would like to thank the following people who donated either money furnishings, or building materials to the Dupont Castle building project.
Bill & Mariann Postlethwait
Shirley Zimmerman & Bob Hampl
Mark Eastwood &Barbara Gay
Frank & Beverly Frederick
Bentley & PamWestfield
Frank Bredimus - Berkeley castle
Mack & Mattie McLaughlin
Terry and Rick Moody - Sky High Castle
John & Pat Beno
Terry and Linda Jemison
Carl & Christine Hanfling
Rick & Shirley Rutherford
T.O. Galloway and Shirley Mandler
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