We called a local contractor who does beautiful work to come rescue it. He grew up with one of the kids of the family, and knows the house. He also appreciates old houses, so we liked him right away.
Inside the basement, there were frame walls, a corner barbeque, and a room that still had a dirt floor, all from a much previous start as a finished rec room. Ground seepage from the 2011 flood soaked the wood and insulation and sagged the ceilings and walls, so it all had to go.
Getting the new sill in place straightened up the front of the house (breaking a painted-in window, some plaster, and some floorboards in the process). I really can imagine the house as a person taking a sigh of relief at being able to stand up straight again after being hunched over for a long time. Kind of like me, after sitting at my computer all day long…
It was an expensive project, which took more of our saved funds than we would like, but it was worth it. Here's some photos of the basement work and the sill-jacking, which was a HUGE job; those were 55,000 lb jacks on top of all that massive cribbing. It looks scarier than it is. At least, that's what they tell me.