I just realized I didn't post a picture showing why the wall needs new plaster. Here it is. I had to take the picture in sepia because the damn walls are so bright white it didn't show anything on the regular setting. This is the only wall in the whole house that needs any work. The paper plate looking thing is to cover the hole from where the botbellied coal stove vented. The original heat in this house came from 3 botbellied coal stoves...one in here, one in the kitchen, and one in the front bedroom. I have no idea what the little eye hooks are for. You can also see the wall is rippling, its like that all the way across and down. You can't really see it, but there is also a hole on the ceiling (above the cover) that has been plastered over. It looks like a flaw in the plaster in this picture. The PO's said that after the stoves and before the central heat they had some kind of wall heat. I don't know if that hole had something to do with that, or if it came from somewhere else. Oh, and those are cobwebs...I really need to take care of that!
And about the stoves...I wish they were still here. Even if we never used them, I think it'd be great just to have them. And eventually we are going to add period appropriate wood burning stoves where all the coal stoves used to be. But we have a teeny tiny (virtually nonexistent) budget right now so it's going to be a while.