Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Thirst for Connectiveness - Part I

NOTE: Laura Hawkins died 81 years ago on this day (December 26, 1928) at 3:15 am in her home. Cause of her death was listed as "senility". For more on her death, click the link to the blog post, "Lady of the House - Part 2":

Happy Holidays Everybody!

During this spirit-of-giving time of year, many of us review our connectiveness to those we touch in our homes and in our communities. In our camp, we reminisce about all who've made our work on the Laura Hawkins house possible - the Friends of Historic Hannibal (FOHH), Bob Yapp, Ron our fix-it guy, and our neighbors.

As those who follow this blog know, members of Friends of Historic Hannibal (FOHH) ( and their friends came out in 2008 to show the world the original face of "Laura" in an event called "The Unveiling". It was a face that, until 1947, brightened the neighborhood when the house was first built over 100 years ago. On a tip from Bob Yapp, a crew from NPR came to Hannibal as part of their broadcast on Missouri, a bellwether state in the 2008 presidential election. The Laura Hawkins house was a lead-in to their story. A very well done piece, here it is ...

To listen to the piece, click on "Listen to the Story" (All Things Considered) at the top of the webscreen and then click the "download" icon to the left . You will first listen to Richard Garey, Hannibal's Mark Twain impersonator, followed by a short conversation between our guy Ron (with his full Hannibal accent) and myself, and then you will listen to Frank Salter give his voting analysis for the 2008 Presidential candidates.

Frank Salter at the Unveiling of the Laura Hawkins House - October 2007.

For those who don't know Frank Salter (and just about everyone in Hannibal does), Frank is one of Hannibal's key folks in the town's restoration missions. As public relations focal for FOHH and an educator, he's also one of our favorite persons to ask for advice. Frank conducts classes for the Hannibal campus of Moberly Area Community College (MACC) ( and once conducted an Abatron 101 class, just for us. Abatron BTW, is a liquid wood product used to restore columns, shingles, window frames, etc. It's really amazing stuff that can restore the most decrepit of wood moldings.

Aaahhhh... Was this not worth it?

As the Christmas weekend dwindles down, I'm basking in the glow of the two historical events that were benchmarks in the restoration of Laura's house - the Unveiling and a bookmark in the annals of NPR's archive - the 2008 Presidential election and the part Missouri played in it. I'm so looking forward to 2010 and all it will bring for Laura.

Next blog post - our connectiveness to the Becky Thatcher House, Laura's first home in Hannibal. See a similarity between the two houses built 54 years apart?

Restored gable on the Becky Thatcher house (built 1843).

Revealed gable on the Laura Hawkins house (built 1897).
Frank's wife Donna is peeking through one of the palladium windows.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this interesting post. I own an 1880s Victorian farmhouse and am currently searching for all information about previous owners.

I enjoyed reading through your blog. Thank you for sharing.

Laura Resurrectors said...

Thank you so much for your comment, fairfield.

Am getting ready to do another post this weekend. Stay tuned.

Laura Resurrectors said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Resurrectors said...


I just read your post and you obviously do not know what you are talking about. We've done none of the things you've accused us of doing.

New siding? 98% of the boards and shingles are original. Boarding off sites that had architecturally significant windows? Where? Run of the mill factory produced windows? We haven't begun to remove and replace these. Not staying true to fascia... and other woodworking? We haven't begun to work on these elements.

Please get your facts straight before you pound your rage out at us on your keyboard again.

Laura Resurrectors said...

Readers, here was Amanda's post...

January 20, 2010 8:40 AM
Amanda said...

I think what has been done to the Laura Hawkins House is an abomination! It is stated that this house is being restored and I beg to differ. What is being done to that once great house is stripping it of any character and the fundamental charm that made it a Victorian. As a member of Main Street, an avid preservationist, and an owner of an 1894 Victorian home that is being restored properly, I feel that the Laura Hawkins House would have been best served if the current remodelers had not gotten their hands on it.

Since I do not live anywhere near this location, I am merely out letting my rage against people saying that they are restoring, and in fact what they are doing should be known as a sin against that home’s integrity.

The new siding is a step down from what looked to be hand-cedar shakes, boarding off sites that once held architecturally significant windows and such styling with run of the mill factory produced windows, and not staying true to the fascia boards, sideboards, and other woodworking are what made me agitated at this remodel and makes this house no longer historical significant.

Maybe in thirty or so years some new owner will fix and restore this once grand house.