The dining room leads into the hall of the original house, with the turned staircase to the second floor rising along one wall. Its banister is made of one piece of wood as it curls up both turns of the staircase, though it now has a cut needed to move furniture.
“Did the person prior to Mr. Waller, who built the original one-over-one with the side hall [house], did he find this curved limb that he liked and then built the house around it? Or did he build the house and walked in the woods until he found the curved wood?” Bill said. “Either way, it’s pretty phenomenal. And if you actually measure and look closely, each one of these [balusters] is a little bit different height to get it to work out with the steps and the slope of the layout.”
Back in the time the original house was constructed, pine was extremely brittle and difficult to work with given the tools they had, Bill said.
“Now, of course, pine today is one of the cheapest forms of wood flooring,” Bill said, before gesturing to the entryway floor. “Chestnut, which was very common, it’s very rare today. I don’t even know what that floor would be worth.”
Bill noted the chestnut likely was cut from right there on the farm. To display one’s wealth, it was common to use pine flooring at the front door, before converting to chestnut.
“A rug covered everything else, because that was your old chestnut that you were ashamed of,” Bill said. “Now, 200 years later, the world’s upside down. [Pine] is the cheapest flooring material and you can’t buy [chestnut] with any amount of money.”