Connecticut to Savannah: A historic home moves South

Connecticut to Savannah: A historic home moves South

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Savannah has had its share of houses being moved from location to the across town, such as The Hampton-Lillibridge House, which was moved from Bryan Street to where it sits now on Saint Julian Street.

Moving a house does come with some problems, but imagine moving from Connecticut to Savannah, on West Gwinnett Street. The owners of the Printmaker’s Inn wanted a house to expand to the empty lot next door, and they found one in New England.

“It’s going to be the oldest building in Savannah,” says Pete Galloway, owner of the Printmaker’s Inn. “1693. So part of the house is forty years older than Savannah itself. The majority of the house is 1742. The craftsmanship, I mean they had 200-year-old trees they were cutting down, you can’t do that anymore.”

Galloway says they know this from a test they ran on the age of the wood. During the breakdown, they did find some things along the way, like a couple of old shoes in the wall, a Bible from around eighteen hundred, and a six-foot-long drawing of a French and Indian War scene.

“Somebody drew a battle scene on an interior wall then covered it over, that was the biggest find, and according to the folks in Connecticut, they’d never found anything like that before, so that was the coolest find,” Galloway says.

The house had to be approved to go up here, and Galloway says the Metropolitan Planning Commission worked with them along the way. To get the structure to Savannah, they separated the house into sections then loaded it on two semi-trucks. Once in Savannah, it was put on a new level foundation, which was about a foot and a half change from what it had been sitting on.

“We were close enough with the assembly of the frame, that stuff is going to fit, but you have to shimmy it one way we had to cut out an old joice a little bit just to fit it in barely so, but it’s trying to keep the historic fabric the same. We don’t want to cut all the material, so we were trying to figure out how we can squeeze it in and not ruin anything,” Galloway says. “It’s been tricky but fun.”

As for that drawing, Galloway has it and plans on getting it framed and showcasing it. He hopes to be open as an Inn by December, calling it The Hills-Galloway House. It will have five rooms, and he’s really hoping people are able to travel more by then.

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