Monday, June 23, 2008

Field Trip - Let's Move a House!!

Sometimes my life out here in the cornfields is so exciting I can hardly stand it. The weather was clear on Friday which meant the house move that was scheduled for the previous week could finally take place. The historic Byron Kendall home was moved from Elburn, Illinois to nearby LaFox. The original portion of the home was built from hand hewn logs in 1840.

This move required a 4 mile journey including a tense crossing over an older bridge and a sharp left hand turn onto LaFox Road. Here's the house as it approaches the first hurdle, a set of power lines which must be removed.


There were large crews from the power company and the phone company on hand to pave the way for the passing home. The house comes down a hill towards the small bridge. This was the most dangerous and difficult part of the journey. The home was stalled here for quite some time while crews reinforced everything before the crossing.


You ain't seen nothing till you've seen a house come down the road. It's certainly not something you see everyday, but it's more common around here than you'd think. The last move I witnessed was when an old two-story country store was moved about a mile from here.


Here's a video of the house pulling out onto the road and heading down the highway.

It reaches it's new home, a spot cleared out of a small cornfield. Do you think it will live on at this location for another 168 years?

I could not believe those guys were under the house adjusting the metal skids WHILE the house was moving. I bet their mother's don't know what they do this.

When I uploaded these onto You Tube I came across quite a few (and more professionally recorded) videos of house and building moves. I love this video of the Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Iowa. The congregation had dwindled from 250 to only 13 members. Unwilling to allow the church to slowly disintegrate out in the cornfields the parishoners managed to have it moved to town, 12 miles away. This video is part of a National Geographic feature called "Monster Moves". This is amazing, funny and as described on You Tube, sometimes resembles a Fellini movie. I love the part when church comes up over the hill.

Well, that was the big excitement around here. Anything as exciting in your part of the world?


Heather said...

First of all, I WANT that house. Can you see the potential?? It's delicious. Second, how did they get the house onto the truck??

Lucy said...

I agree with Heather...the potential for fixing that up is incredible. I lived in Kimball NE once and they moved an old farmhouse onto the lot next to mine. It was so fun to watch and what they did to that house. Wow! That's what I've always wanted to do.

Simple Answer said...

Can you even imagine the cost? But my heart belongs in a house like that. You can try to get charm like that, but nothing really touches the real thing.

Thanks for stopping by today - you made me smile.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

No, definitely not. But my friends gave away their house a decade ago for a dollar. It had to be moved ten miles to the next made the papers.

That house is huge! I certainly hope that it does live for another 168 years at its new site.

BittersweetPunkin said...

I really do hope someone moves into that house and breathes new life into it...I would if I could!!
I'm glad they didn't demolish it.

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Wow! That must have been some sight! Those guys are very brave!
I've been lurking around here for a bit & thought I'd say HI!

KatKit13 said...

I once saw a rather large house being moved in the Atlanta burbs some 20 years ago. It was awesome, coming down a 4-lane highway - with a guy riding on the roof. He was there to gently lift the power lines over the chimney as the house came through. LOL

Amazing sight.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Wow, that would be something!

I can see your enthusiasm for such an exciting event! We just got back from Indiana, let's just say it wasn't a trip to Hawaii, but we had fun just being away together even if it was on business. Sometimes we take what we can get, huh? :-)

Happy Monday!

Suzanne said...

Heather - The house is Greek Revival style and is actually quite small. I guess it looks big when rolling along but two newer (circa 1915) add ons were removed because they were not deemed of historical significance and would have complicated the moving process.

Lucy - It will have another addition and updates made at it's new location.

S-A - I should ask my neighbors who moved the two-story country store down the road. I'm sure it was a costly endeavor but they bought the store for only $1.

Vee - The house is actually small. It just looks big for the camera. If you want to see an absolutely HUGE house on the move....go to You Tube. There was a house moved in Maine that was gigantic.

Punkin - It will be restored and updated. Stay tuned. We will definitely follow it's progress.

Debrak - Thanks for de-lurking. I've been visiting Bunny's Bungalow too. I tell you those guys under the house were making me very nervous.

KatKit - I don't think I'd ever get bored of watching stuff like this. The bigger the better.

Melissa - Indiana can be fun.....or boring, just like Illinois. It just depends where you land.

Thanks everyone for coming along on the house move.

- Suzanne

Jill said...

Moving a house sounds absolutely daunting, yet achingly special and full of memories.

The roads are surprisingly wide... I can't believe they were able to drive it there safe and sound.

Trish said...

that was a most interesting post and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It reminded me of watching the grain elevators being moved into town. Of course, now in the Canadian Prairies they are removing all grain elevators for this big conglomerate farming operatives!!!!

Rue said...

I'm so happy they saved that house. I love those people :)

American in Norway said...

Amazing! Ummm, I am willing to move in and fix it up! ; )

American in Norway said...

Very cool.... I volunteer to move in & fix it up... ; )

followthatdog said...

I was just notified that a house in our neighborhood was looking for a new "home" as it would be torn down to make room for more Seattle condos. I wish I had room for it, the old 1920s craftman home would be awesome, but I'm already in the middle of my own falling down home remodel.

Tha's fantastic to see one actually being moved. Too cool.

cookie said...

How cool is that! We didn't have a house moved, but I did get a fairie door, and the fairies moved into my house.

I love your photos.


cookie said...

How cool is that! We didn't have a house moved, but I did get a fairie door, and the fairies moved into my house.

I love your photos.