The history of the old house known as The Brown & Grant House, was known to Carolyn and Miles Felmly for a number of years. The Felmly’s often talked of buying the house and restoring and operating an antique shop at the site. The house was empty when the Felmly’s moved into their home next door. Around 1970 Leo and Pearl Atkinson bought the house and made some improvements updating plumbing and electrical systems. The Atkinson’s were horse lovers and always had several horses in the yard. Pearl died in 1988 and Leo continued to live in the home until his death in late 1994 at 87 years of age. The Felmly’s bought the home from Leo Atkinson’s estate and began work on turning it into an antique shop.
The home was in very bad condition when the Felmly’s purchased it. There was no heat
in the house, the roof leaked badly and part of it had blown off. There was no insulation
in the walls or ceilings. There was a heavy infestation of roaches, fleas and rats.
First thing to be done was removal of heavy accumulations of trash and years of personal
belongings that the Atkinson estate did not want. Furniture, clothing and old appliances.
Eighty cubic yards of trash was removed from the home and yard areas.
Poking and prodding in the old walls revealed 5 fireplaces that had been plastered over in
years past. Much of the plaster around the fireplaces had to be hand ground off of the
brick surfaces.After finding the opening the bricked up areas were removed. In the basement a secret room was found under the main fireplace and it is believed that run away slaves were hidden here.
The rear room where horse leather work was done had 70% of the floor missing. The
floor had been removed so Leo Atkinson’s dogs could chase out rats that lived in this
area. A coal furnace was used occasionally and the entire house had coal soot on ceilings
A family moved into the home about a month before Leo died. They were to take care of
him for free rent. They brought a number of cats that lived in this room and used the bed
as a litter box. There was about 3 gallons of cat droppings removed from around the
bedroom and the carpet and bed were repeatedly soaked with cat urine.
Removing the wall covering reveled a fireplace on the second floor. Removal of tile
ceiling reveled an original beaded ceiling.
It took about three months to clean out the old home and about 6 months to make repairs
for preparation of the antique shop.
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