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Later, when the bowling alley was more thoroughly inspected, it was discovered that a portion of the southern roof was sheathed with Madison-era boards.  The boards turned out to be similar to fragments of other reused ca. 1812 boards found during the deconstruction phase of the restoration, boards that had been used by the Madisons to enclose the South Cellar Stair's stairwell in ca. 1812.  In ca. 1901 the boards were removed from the South Cellar Stair, cut into narrow strips and then reused by the duPonts as nailers.  When the pieces were reassembled by the Restoration Team it was discovered that they preserved an intact ghost of the South Cellar Stair that preserved the size of the stair’s treads, nosing, and risers as well as the angle of its slope.  Eventually these boards allowed the South Cellar Stair to be reconstructed with an incredible level of accuracy.  After finding similar boards in the Bowling Alley, the Restoration Team wondered if they were associated with the ca. 1812 North Cellar Stair.


Reused ca. 1812 stair enclosure boards found during the deconstruction phase.  The yellow dashed line traces the ghost that revealed the size of the South Cellar Stair's treads, nosings, and risers.