I’m guessing it was somewhere around 1994. Kristy and I had been married a couple of years and were enjoying our first home. The two-story colonial was tall, slender, and builder-grade construction throughout. We had purchased it a year or so before with some help by the way of selling 5 cows to get the down payment.

Selling the cows has little to do with this post other than to set the tone with an example showing that early in marriage you do what you have to do to make things work financially. You might scavenge thrift stores (we still do to this day) and other such outlets to find ways to improve and add a little flair to your budgeted builder-grade lifestyle.

In the county where we lived and still currently live there is a public landfill. We have garbage pickup but sometimes when you clean out you need to just go ahead and take a load to the dump its so much. One such time leads us to this story of this clawfoot tub.

With a load of rubbish on the truck, I headed to the dump intending to free myself of much clutter and debris that had been clogging up our enjoyment of the house.

The dump is a few miles from the house and on any typical Saturday, you will find yourself waiting in line. I got in line and immediately noticed the fellow in front of me and being bored in the time before cell phones I began to inspect what he might be departing with. Just for the amusement of it of course.

A clawfoot tub! With all the feet and the original faucet.

The wheels of my truck were not spinning but the wheels of my mind began to spin like the Price is Right wheel. I had to have this clawfoot bathtub!

I sprang from my truck, walk up to the guy’s window, and asked what he intended to do with that tub as if I didn’t know. Dump it he says. Within the next few minutes, we had our trucks tailgate to tailgate making the transfer of treasure.

Here’s where the story gets long in reality but I can get up to date in this one paragraph. We built a house about a year later and the tub went into storage at my parent’s barn. My parents sold their farm and the tub moved with them to their new house basement. My father passed away and my mother went to live in Florida. The tub remained in the basement. Kristy and I bought my parent’s house and were again in possession of the tub.

Think about it. We kicked around this nasty, old, 300-pound tub for roughly 30 years!

Naval Jelly on Clawfoot Tub
Naval Jelly demolished the rust on the exterior of our clawfoot tub for Daybook Cottage.

Fast forward to today. We’ve hauled the tub to Florida to be installed in Daybook Cottage. Guess where it is being stored until then. My mother’s barn in Florida. Yes, we are insane!

Before installing though, this tub needed some serious restoration. I had bought a kit to paint the interior which was about $100. Kristy and my mother thought that was a terrible idea and wanted to keep the original finish. A neighbor mentioned she had luck using a product called Brillo SnoBol Extra Strength Bowl Cleaner. So Kristy got some and went to work on the inside while I worked on the outside with Loctite Naval Jelly Rust Remover.

Restored footed bathtub with SnoBol
Amazing results! Not without a lot of elbow grease though in addition to the SnoBol.

I must say I was skeptical but I’m dumbfounded at the results Kristy achieved. This clawfoot tub is ready for prime time. The hardware from Kingston Brass is on the way and soon we and our guests will be enjoying that vintage feel bath experience in Daybook Cottage.

Clawfoot tub installation.
Here’s a glimpse of it going in the house. What’s that piece of furniture?

The footed tub is in the cottage but you’ll have to check back for a future blog post with the complete installation pictures.

Sometimes things and people come into your life and you do not know why. You can call it the work of the universe, divine appointment, or visualization. Whatever you call it when you see that thing or person your gut speaks to you and nothing will sway you from being together.

It may make no sense at the time but eventually, you’ll see where the piece fits into the puzzle of your life and all the questioning and grumbling about why you held on will be as clear as the winter night sky.


Leave a Reply