After lots of research & coordination on Eric's part, we were able to replace the main roof beam last week, with the help of Eric's friend, Noah. This was a big milestone! It's girth is probably 4x that of the old twisty wood beam that it replaces. It consists of 3-9" LVLs bolted together every 24" as prescribed by our structural engineer. There's also flashing in the pockets so that it doesn't rest directly on the brick. This allowed us to remove the floor jacks throughout the house and prepare for pouring the basement slab (which happened today - pics to come).
Since last weekend, Eric has sistered all of the roof rafters with new ones to strengthen them (thanks Rob for the nail gun!), and I will definitely sleep better at night knowing the roof is less likely to collapse in on us. Yesterday Eric worked on the rafters while I reset some of the weak brick and nailers around the windows in the front bedroom. It's amazing how weak everything is, but more so than age, I think a lot of the problem comes from lack of maintenance over the past 101 years.