How I Moved And Restored My Old House: Part I, With Photos
The Dolphin House
When my husband (who is now deceased), Ralph F. Hyatt graduated from Veterinary School at the University of Georgia in 1965, he didn’t know where to set up his Equine practice. We knew we wanted to move to Florida. We first looked at the Ocala area, because there are lots of horses there. At that time, we had three children, and one on the way, so good schools were also important to us. After spending many days of traveling around the state, we happened on a town called Stuart. Stuart had only about 30,000 residents, but there were many ranches and dairies in the county. The schools were small, so there was no concern of overcrowding in the classrooms.
We went to the only Veterinary Clinic in the county, and Doc (this was our fond name for him) talked to the owner of the Clinic, and told him he had just graduated from Veterinary School, and was looking for a job. The owner was delighted, and hired Doc on the spot. Eventually, Doc started his own Veterinary practice. He was a very successful veterinarian until his death in 1988.
I Find A Suitable Lot For My Old House
After Doc died, I decided to find a smaller house to finish raising our 16 yr. old daughter. I bought a wooded lot, and I intended to build on that lot. But, as fate would have it, I learned of some old Florida Cracker houses that were going to be razed in order for a new condominium to be built. This was in July, 1981. They were going to be put up for auction. Potential buyers could inspect the houses and choose which one, or all, that they wanted to bid on. I took a friend who was a contractor with me to do the inspection. Out of four houses, we chose one. There was some slight termite damage, but other than that, the house was in fine shape. These houses were built in 1900, and served as guest houses. Each bedroom had a private bath. There was a central parlor for the guests to use, and a central living room. The houses all had Dade County hardwood pine flooring.
For those people who are not familiar with the term Florida Cracker House: These were woodframe homes used widely in the 19th century in Florida and they are still popular with some developers as a source of design themes. These houses are characterized by metal roofs, raised floors, large porch areas (often wrapping around the entire home), and straight central hallways from the front to the back of the home. They were built to take advantage of the Florida breezes since there was no air conditioning.
The four houses to be auctioned were named: Sailfish, Marlin, Dolphin, and Tarpon. The one I wanted was the Dolphin. The day of the auction was very exciting. I won the house I wanted! I paid $4,000.00 for the house, another $3,000.00 for a house mover to move the house 15 miles to my wooded lot. In order to move the house the building department had rules in place that all necessary work had to be approved by them. That included an Architect to draw the house just like it was a new house, plumbing and electrical work approved, the site plan had to be approved, and the approval of installing the septic system. This all had to be done before the house could be moved. All building codes had to be met. This process took me almost eight weeks, and in the meantime, the builders of the condominium were getting very impatient. The building department finally approved everything, and just when I thought I would lose the house, it was ready to be moved. Two of the buyers did lose their houses because they couldn’t get their necessary work done in time.
My Apologizes For The Quality Of The Photos Below
I pasted the photos of the moving of the house onto a Collage. I was unable to scan the photos for the computer, so I tried to take photos of those photos.
The later photos are some that I took with my camera, and they are much better.
The House Travels One Mile Per Hour
On the day before the anticipated journey to my lot, the house mover had to take the entire roof off the house because it was so high it wouldn’t fit underneath power lines. They took it off just like you would remove a layer from a cake. I was sorry the fireplace had to be removed, but that was necessary to keep bricks from falling everywhere. I was amazed that there was no damage at all to the house after it was moved. Not one window was broken.
The House Has To Travel 15 Miles
The house had to travel 15 miles to reach my destination, and had to go over the Palm City Bridge which is quite high. This was a very exciting day, and I captured every step of the way on camera and made a collage of all the photos. I love to show visitors how the house was moved.
My Poorhouse With No Roof
It had not rained in our area for weeks, but as soon as the movers lowered the house onto its foundation, it began to pour. My beautiful high plaster ceilings all fell down onto the floor. I swept out the ceilings and cried.
My House On Top Of The Palm City Bridge
The Roof Has Been Replaced; And Is Now On Foundation
The Local Newspaper Interviewed Me For An Article About My Old House
After the house was restored, the local newspaper reporter came and interviewed me, and took photos to be used in the newspaper.
The Newspaper Article and Photo
My Old House: Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Moving a house in south Florida is unheard of. I understand it is done in northern states where people move houses and barns, but not here. I spent $65,000.00 to bring the house up to code.
I like to think of all the families who stayed in this house way back when. I can almost hear them laughing and talking at times. I hope they know I have the house and how much I love it.
I have done the majority of renovating the inside of the house. I wore out three belt sanders on the pine paneling. I stained and varnished all of the paneling. I wallpapered all the rooms. This has been a work in progress, because I never get completely finished with the house. I can always look around and see something else I want to do to it.
I own a piece of history. My house reminds me of the house I grew up in in Georgia. I love my old house. I’ve put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this old house. I wouldn’t want to go through what I did in order to move another house though. I’m very proud of my house. It has become somewhat of a museum, because I am a collector. I have to keep all the things my children and grandchildren have given me. My walls have no more room. I hope to live out the rest of my life IN MY OLD HOUSE THAT I MOVED AND RESTORED.
If you would like to see how the interior of the house looks after it was remodeled, I invite you to come into my house and take a tour. See the link below to enter my house.
The Dolphin House
The Yard I Enjoy
My Living Room
This Is Part II Of My Moving And Restoring My Old House
- Moving And Restoring My Old House Part II
This is an inside tour of my old house that I moved and restored. It's a house filled with love and a lot of wonderful memories.