This past week the Southern Accents team hit the road and began what is our largest salvage project to date. The first order of business was to explore the historic house. Walking through multiple rooms of the dark, four story abode, we all had the same sense of feeling overwhelmed. Several days of filtering through the house was an emotional experience. Each room held remnants of lives once lived in a majestic dwelling. We were awed with the artistry of the architectural elements. The quality of the materials used in the house, which was constructed in the late 1800’s was impressive. We were saddened by its current state and wished that we could have visited during its heyday. As we listened to the property owner tell us the history of the house, we imagined the happy sounds of six generations of family who occupied the house through the years.
Salvaging a historic house is a task that we do not take lightly. It is always our preference to see a house fully restored to its original state. Once time and nature takes its toll and it reaches a point of deterioration where restoration is simply not feasible, it becomes our goal to rescue as many elements from the house as we possibly can. When a house can’t be brought back to life, we can salvage, restore, and repurpose much of it. Our documentation efforts allow the house, its stories and its history to be remembered and passed down for many more generations to come.
There is a window of time where we have the opportunity to safely conduct a salvage operation of this magnitude. There comes a point, when the house begins to collapse in on itself, the window is closed and all is lost. That saddens us even more.
In the coming weeks we will have stories to tell, pictures to share, and beautiful architectural elements to offer from this stately house. Wrapping up our first week on the job, we leave feeling as if we’ve left a part of ourselves with this project but also feeling that we are better for having had the experience.
Here’s a glimpse at just a few of the finds from our latest salvage mission.
Written by: Lisa Jones