This crown was added to the front porch and is not part of the original trim detail. It looks like it may have originally had a quarter round or similar here, but this crown will be removed. Acting as a moisture trap, it has caused some damage to the beam. It is easily repairable though.
This is an insulator from the lightening rod ground conductor. I stopped by the Mason Homestead today to look at the lightening rods installed there. Looks like they used the same materials. Now I know where to start the lightening rod project.
As suspected, the “crawlspace” is not dry, nor has it been for a number of years. While it is not quite a river, the water under the house is flowing towards the back. The recent rains have provided the opportunity to better understand the drainage problems under and around the house. At least there is no mold. Yet.