Rose-head nails

We started this project with the adage, “first do no harm.” Well, that didn’t last long–they pulled down the ceiling in the attic today (in order to assess the roof structure) and found two walls had been hand-split lath and hand-forged nails, indicating they hadn’t been touched in 200 years. I stress “had.” 🙁

Hand-forged nails are often called rose-head nails because the hammer strikes gave them a “rose-like” appearance. (Or so I’ve read, although I would never mistake one for a rose.)

To make matters worse, while we’re still reeling from this loss, the contractor recommended pulling down the rest of the ceilings! Unfortunately, he’s right–if we cut “chases” for the plumbing/electric/sprinklers, the ceiling is going to resemble swiss cheese. And in the end, you won’t be able to tell what we did: whether we patch it back or replace it outright, it will still look the same.

But we’ll know we destroyed something that’s been there for over 200 years. 🙁