COLUMBIA — “Move that house!”
Amid cheers and applause, the shotgun house began its gradual journey toward its final destination at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Formerly located at 500 N. Garth Ave., the historic house was moved across town to the Boone Junction History Village. A shotgun house refers to a narrow home with rooms placed single-file one behind another with no halls.
A narrow rectangular structure, the shotgun house has been standing since the 1920s and was the first notable historic property in Columbia, said Mike Martin, one of its owners. He and Brian Treece*, the other owner of the property, bought the house in 2007 and have been discussing its relocation with the Boone County Historical Society and City Council for many months.
Workers labored for two days to get the house off the ground, Treece said. They installed cribbing to stabilize the structure and then jacked it up so they could push a trailer underneath it. A special foundation was laid at the History Village so the house could be backed in and lowered to the ground.
Dozens of neighbors gathered in the cold to watch the progress of the house as workers from utility companies hurried to move telephone and electric lines out of the way.
“Oh, I just love it,” Kathy Lee, Columbia resident, said. “It’s exciting to see a house move. I’ve seen it on TV but never in person.”
Across the street, Samantha and Kelly Vanengelenhoven watched from their house.
“It’s sad to see it move, but it’s better than tearing it down,” Samantha said.
The shotgun house, sitting on a truck bearing an “Oversize Load” banner, had some trouble starting its expedition because of low-hanging wires at the intersection of Garth Avenue and Worley Street. It was a problem at many of the following intersections.
Numerous police cars and construction trucks surrounded the house during the move to ensure the safety of the process. The workers deposited the structure at the History Village.
Martin said he planned to clean up the empty land, now strewn with rocks and mud, left by the house.