In 1973 my parents bought an old house that had been sitting empty for a long time. The house was at the end of a hollow (“Holler”) and you actually had to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to even get to it. (When the weather was bad you couldn’t even get a 4-wheel drive up to it!)
This house was fairly big and included an above ground basement which made it two stories high plus a huge attic. The house had been vandalized in that most of the windows were busted, ceiling tiles and walls torn up and lots of garbage and junk. My father was a mason and carpenter, he built homes for a living so he went to work on the remodeling. It took a while before he had the house ready for us to move into and even then at first we stayed in an area down stairs until the rest of the house was ready. Eventually the house was very nice with new paneling, ceiling tiles, windows and even a wall to wall Bedford stone fireplace.
Not long after living there we found out about the previous residents. That is my sisters and I found out about it, I am sure my parents already knew. Anyway, the people who lived there before us had a 14 year old boy who got himself electrocuted to death trying to gather old copper wiring (It is supposed that he thought the wires weren’t live). The family couldn’t bear to live there any longer so they moved leaving the house empty for a long time until we came along. We also learned that the family who had lived there before them had also had a death in the household but we didn’t know any of the details.
Eventually a local man obtained the house and property and began working to clean it up and get it ready for his family to move in. While he was clearing and burning brush an ember must have made it onto the roof of the house because it caught fire and burned to the ground.
We lived in that house for four years and in fact that was the longest stretch of time I had ever lived in one place in my life at that time. A lot of things happened in that house and on the property around it. I will write more about that very soon.
(The first picture above was taken in 1973 when we first bought the house and property and before my father remodeled it – The second photo was taken 1 year later, the remodeling was in progress but still not (complete).
Written by David Slone, Copyright 2012