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However, the excavation also found something surprising.  The ghost of a second stair was found running in an opposite direction to the ca. 1812 stair and nailers were discovered embedded in the masonry that clearly did not belong to the Madison stair.  After studying the evidence and analyzing the six different generations of plaster it became clear that the second stair dated to ca. 1881 and was built after the ca. 1812 Madison-era stair was removed.  The ca. 1881 stair appears to have been completely demolished in ca. 1901 and the only physical remains were the nailers and ephemeral architectural ghosts found on the walls.  While the discovery of the ca. 1881 stair did not contribute directly to the restoration effort, the fact that the Restoration Team knew it existed ultimately allowed the team to solve a mystery that in turn allowed the North Passage stair to be reconstructed with an incredible level of accuracy.


A measured drawing recording the evidence found for both generations of cellar stairs.