An unpainted interior. This side of the staircase was sealed off by the introduction of a wall ca. 1830, which enclosed the staircase in a separate hall from the parlor. A center hall was also made by an additional wall, reducing the size of the East Parlor, but introducing a degree of formality to the plan.
In ca. 1830, an unknown itinerant painter/stenciller came to the area and executed the extraordinary stencil decorations. Later, the walls were wallpapered repeatedly.
Part of this study was to determine a means of removing the wallpaper without further damage to the stencil decoration. Steaming provided the appropriate solution, however, it must proceed with the greatest care, as the stencil decoration was executed in distemper, a water-soluble paint that is delicate.
Another fascinating aspect of this small house is the blue plaster of the West Parlor that was made by incorporating indigo into the finish plaster! The dark bits of the indigo pigment are readily seen in the closet under the added staircase.
The restoration of Hawthorne Hill will be starting in 2014 and will involve the retention of the original stencil decoration in its present state, along with the reconstruction of the stencil decoration on a wall that has lost the original plaster, providing the visitor with a fascinating experience.