Yes, lead. I discovered that the water line coming in from the city main was the original lead line installed in 1908. Although minerals build up and coat the interior of the lead pipe so you aren't really drinking lead, it is frowned upon these days.
We have City codes to keep the public safe for good reason and thus began the excavation to install a new one inch water line to the old mansion. Windy City Excavation - Digger Dan and his crew bored a hole from the City main water line - which, incidentally has never been replaced since its installation in 1891. The ground was hard and it took a long time, or one could say it was boring. lol pardon the pun.
The City of Great Falls water department people came out and tapped the old city main in what I consider almost like watching artists work. When I learned the city main was original from 1891 I though... Oh no!!!.... I have to give the city people credit.... this is one of the smoothest taps on the oldest city main water line I have seen.
AT Klemens installed a new one inch copper water line to the city main and also inside the mansion. A new City water meter was installed and happily we have lots of safe water. Fabulous and overdue upgrade.
The old siding was removed and I carefully pressure washed the original 1908 clear fir siding, which was in excellent condition... but very dirty.
My trusted paint people at Benjamin Moore/Forsyth Paint recommended an oil based primer "Prime Lock", which worked wonders on the old siding.
I am going to have to wait until spring to complete the finish coat of Benjamin Moore - Aura (latex paint). I love this paint. I used it on the Gibson Mansion about six years ago and it is holding up really well. This paint is not cheap but you pay for quality and I do not really want to re-visit painting this mansion for a long time.