Everyone has a dream...
Mine was to be able to live the "farm-life".
Even though, the never-ending rat race of adulting overshadowed life for many years, that dream never died. Lo and behold, when we weren't even looking, the dream finally manifest itself in the most serendipitous way.
One day, out of the blue, my husband took a new route home from work and passed by a property where someone was putting out a "for-sale" sign. On a whim, he turned around and drove back to the spot and spoke to the realtor. As fate would have it, the property was now owned by a third bank as the last resident had been evicted several years earlier. It sat, abandoned, for several years and passed through bank after bank purchase with no interest.
The house, although small, had potential (okay, it took a while for me to see that) but it did have acreage with it (which was the biggest selling point). From the time we first walked the property and checked out the house to the time we made an offer was less that 24 hours. Within 48 hours after the offer, we had a contract. In another 2 weeks, we closed on the property.
Now, we were the proud owners of a disaster property -- a literal money-pit -- and an enormous amount of work ahead of us. Even our realtor had suggested that we just bull-doze the house down and build something new. He said, for the price we paid, we were just purchasing the acreage anyway. But, there was "something" about the house that "spoke" to us and we knew it had to be saved.
My first step after we purchased the property was research. I scoured through tax records, the county historical records, court records, newspaper records and any other source that seemed to have viable evidence regarding the property. I learned a lot during that research phase.
In my research, I found information that dated the house not from 1930 as we were initially told but with a much older and more historical beginning. I discovered that the house was at least 130 years old and was situated on the same property as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War. How could we ever imagine destroying that much history?
The house was a wreck from years of abandonment, a series of bad renovations and decades of neglect. It required a full gut job which proved to be very educational, as well as beneficial, for our knowledge and awareness moving forward. There were definitely secrets buried inside the walls, literally.
From day one when we started the demolition, people began coming into our driveway, thanking us for tackling the job and giving us their stories, recollections and other information about the house and its history. Each story was another eye-opening nugget of detail to weave into the long task of renovation and honoring the past.
there's more to the story...check back soon to keep reading...
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