Welcome to Brass Peregrine!

A blog dedicated to documenting the renovation of our beautiful Victorian home

As manner of introduction, I'll start with a short biography of my wife and I.

My name is Andrew. I grew up in Kansas in a sprawling pier-and-beam house; it was ugly, badly laid out, and wonderful. My parents (with help from myself and my siblings, as we grew older) renovated the entire building - not just paint and plaster, mind you, but moving entire kitchens, restoring wood floors, and even building on a complete addition in later years. I helped my dad with plumbing, my mom with gardening, and my siblings with staying out of trouble (ha!). I held up drywall as it was attached to the ceiling, helped lay shingles when we re-roofed, and crawled around under the house when we ran a new sewer line. It was, all in all, an experience I wouldn't trade for the world.

My wife, Lindsay, grew up in a few different houses; her dad, like mine, liked to work with his hands. Lindsay wasn't as involved as I, perhaps, but she experienced first hand what it was to make a house your own. She can't stand to visit her old neighborhood because of how the house looks today. She lived in Ohio, in a city where the average age of homes in the area was older than the average age of the inhabitants by a few decades, and gained a fondness for older homes. We met in college, got married, and now have two wonderful boys that keep us on our toes every waking moment, and quite a few sleeping moments as well.

But that's our family; what about our house?

Our House

As I mentioned, I'm rather fond of building things, and Lindsay quite likes old houses. we share a common interest of Steampunk - an alternate reality, technology-infused Victorian era. Victorian with a hint of fantasy, if you would. Actually owning a true Victorian house would be a dream come true, but when we started looking for a bigger home, we never thought our dream would be realized so quickly!

Our new home had been on the market a while, but was in remarkably good condition; dusty, peeling paint, and a missing shingle or two, to be sure, but those are easy to fix. The outside looks majestic, if a little worn, but the inside...! There are a few little things here and there, but it we wanted, all we'd really need to do is get the floors cleaned, and move right in!

Of course, that's not how we roll. Instead, we're going to be doing extensive renovation. The upstairs could use some work, and the kitchen is hideous (who puts linoleum on the wall!?!), and the master bathroom... oh, the humanity! Linoleum like that was banned by the Geneva convention as crime against humanity!

I will post many, many pictures as time progresses; for now, the focus of our efforts are on actually moving in, though the real renovation will start soon enough. The first thing I need to do is to write a list of the first things I need to do once I've first written the list of first things to do.

A brief history

Our new home
The house was built in 1885 by a man named B. F. Lewis and his wife, E. A. Lewis. In 1905, they sold the house to James Knox Bivins, a lumberman and Confederate veteran. He presented the house to his wife Viola (Cobb) Bivins as a gift. Viola is also known for starting the Red Cross chapter in Longview. The couple raised four kids in the house (for which, I interject, there was and is plenty of room!).

In 1941, Viola used an inheritance from her father to update the house, adding a kitchen.
The house is among the last Victorian homes in Longview.

And for you architectural enthusiasts out there, a technical description:
The structure exhibits mixed folk Victorian elements with cornice returns, spindlework porch balusters and decorative porch post brackets. A simple folk form with Queen Anne accents, the design remains largely intact.

The home was recorded as a Texas Historical Landmark in 1999.


  1. How neat! The house is beautiful. I just love Victorian homes. I hope you have much success with your renovations.

  2. Dude you should tell me when you start a new blog.

  3. Oh, uh, right - hey! I have a new blog! It's about my house! :-D


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