Finally, the banjo is back!
My banjo, my circa-1796 violin, and a western-themed painting stored in my house were the last items that were conserved with insurance money from a 1993 fire that damaged my family home. Set by an arsonist, the fire started outside the library, burned the back of the clapboard building and spread up the second floor to the attic. It caused an estimated $80,000 to $100,000 worth of damage.
Thankfully, the firefighters who rescued the house were very sensitive to the history of the structure, keeping damage to a minimum and carrying artifacts stored in the upstairs rooms out before they could burn as well. Repairs to the house were extensive and ongoing until 2001, when it was re-opened to the public. Some of the smoke damage can be seen upstairs today (right).