So, today I got out and took a photo of the house from nearly the same angle as the catalog photo. Not quite, but close enough to do an overlay. I need to scoot over about three feet and take another picture, but that has to wait for the camera to recharge. As it was I ended up using the webcam on my tablet and guessing the angle, because I got out there, set myself up to shoot based on the catalog image on the tablet and had a dead camera. Got to love modern technology, huh?
I have the front porch interior half painted (the kids' half, of course) and I discovered something that is significant and not unexpected. I knew the sheathing of the columns had to have been either mangled or stripped away in order to put up the siding and interior paneling. I found the ghosts of the columns etched into the old exterior front wall, at both ends. The angle of the column sides and shape of the capitals match those in the catalog picture. This will give me something to work from when we restore the porch. While we want to keep it enclosed, it will be changed to a more sensitive style of enclosure, with the columns replaced, exposing or replacing the curved beams, removing the awful siding and soffit panels, reshingling the porch wall up to the rail and putting in more period appropriate steps, windows and front door. It is an ambitious plan. It is one of the last things on our list.
One more thing - the floor plan in the catalog shows the dining room windows are not centered on the dining room wall. The addition, put on in the 20's (and done by an awful contractor I would love to have some harsh words with), is also not aligned to the center of the dining room. It is off by almost, but not quite, a foot. The discrepancy in one explains the otherwise random discrepancy in the other. It looks as if they laid the foundation for the bay addition, aligned to center on the pair of windows, then tore out the wall, and discovered that it was out of line with the room.