Here's the bathroom progress on Day 2. The plumber came and replaced all the cast iron pipe under the house and re-piped the shower, toilet and sink. Brad put in the subfloor in preparation for tile.
Since I now have flooring, I got up closer to my "archeological" wall for inspection. My assumptions yesterday were all wrong! The oldest layer is a masonite-type board that looks like tile. My guess is early 1900's. At some point it was painted teal green.
I discovered the next layer when I pulled off some of the flowery wallpaper. There's only a strip about 3" high about 4' off the floor. It's water lillies with bubbles. I photoshopped 2 sections together to give you an idea of the overall pattern. My guess, from looking at books on bungalow bathrooms, is this paper dates sometime in the 20's or 30's - when the Art Deco/Craftsman craze happened.
The brittle paper with the starburst flowers on it also has small metallic dots on it. They didn't photograph well - they are just pinpoints of metallic. My guess (based on the metallic aspect as well as the overall design) is 1950's. This was a cheesecloth-backed paper.
Then, behind the sink and the toilet, is this awful paper. The color here is not right - it's an icky shade of mauve. Of course, I'm a bit biased becasue mauve is my least favorite color in the spectrum. Based on color and scale, I'm guessing 70's or 80's. Oh yeah, this paper is attached to sheetrock, which was added at that time. The walls themselves are shiplap, or solid wood.
You probably don't find all of this as fascinating as I do, but it's been kind of fun to see how the house has changed over the years.
Stay tuned for Day 3!