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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm working on a new book and one of the many bunny trails that I've been led down involves moving *dozens* of houses from an WW1 Army camp outside of Williamsburg ("Penniman, VA") to Norfolk, Williamsburg, Hampton, etc.

In the process, I've been learning a lot about moving houses 100 years ago.

Below are a few pictures that I've come across during my research. Thought y'all would enjoy them.

This first photo shows *the* houses that I've been researching. They were built at a WW1 munitions plant/army camp near Williamsburg (where Cheatham Annex is now), and after the war, they were sold off and moved to nearby cities, such as Norfolk, Hampton, Williamsburg, etc.

Norfolk ended up with more than 60 of these houses.

They were put on barges - two at a time - and floated down the York River into the Bay and then onto the Lafayette and into Tanner's Creek.

The photo was taken in December 1921, but the houses were moved from 1920 to 1925. There were 270 houses and most of them were moved to other cities.




Close up of the houses, being moved two at a time (into Norfolk).




Iron ore was discovered in Hibbing, MN in 1919, and several buildings were moved out of the way to get to the large vein.



This building was also in Hibbing, MN and moved for the same reason! Iron ore.



Could there possibly be any more wonderful photo than this? Old houses and old steam engines -together!! This building (used as a courthouse) was moved nine miles in 1889, and the four loaded coal cars were used as anchors. And yes, that's a solid brick building.



San Fransisco building relocated in 1974.



Got enough cribbing there?


Above is the Perry Mansion in Bay Ridge, NY which was moved in 1923 to the opposite side of the street.



My favorite, "Lucy," The Margate Elephant. It was built in 1881 in Margate City, NJ "(a style known as "architectural folly") and it's 72 feet long. It was moved in 1970.

 

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Great photos! Around here, they were usually moved with ox teams. Before all the city water / sewer / electric became common, house were moved all the time. Some had a house and if they wanted a new house they might sell the existing, which would be moved to some other lot, and build a new one on the same lot.
 

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spazman
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In 1979 my brother bought a house and had it moved about 8 miles to the family farm. It was interesting to see but I should have paid more attention to how things were done. I was 15 at the time and was more interested in driving my brother's truck following the house. The song "my Sharonna" was the big hit that summer and It seemed like it played constantly on the radio. Every time I hear that song I remember that day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Spazman,

Thanks for the reply. I thought this was a pretty cool thread, but then I had 100 views and one reply and thought I'd become "CT's Most Unpopular Poster."

LOL.

Yeah, I find it fascinating that they would just pick up and move a house 100 years ago, and yet we're much more reluctant to do that today (perhaps due to cost).
 

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but then I had 100 views and one reply and thought I'd become "CT's Most Unpopular Poster."
Puhlease Rose.

You're not even a contractor (they get banned immediately) and we ban those types every day. Your niche here and incredible pictures here have earned you a pass that we haven't got a category for yet.

Keep them coming.:thumbsup:
 

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spazman
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Some other things I remember from that day was earlier in the day me and a couple of other guys went ahead and cut tree branches that we thought might be in the way. The house that we moved was about 30x60 2 story. A guy from the power company road on the roof to deal with wires and see if we cut the tree branches short enough.
 

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Excellent pictures thanks for posting them. Love the picture of the large brick building being moved, amazing.

There were several buildings here locally that were moved in the last 10 years or so, always interesting to watch it being done.

The owner of the moving company would get the building on the trailer and then drive onto the road and then stop, then he got paid for doing the entire job 100%. He would not move the truck until paid, he said his dad done business that way and so does he.
 

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Amazing stuff - that Perry Mansion - I'm thinking there is as much (or more) wood in the cribbing as there is in the house itself.
:no::no::thumbup:
 

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The utilities are the major stumbling block for moving today . I.E. overhead wires.
I prepared my house to be relocated 8 yrs ago . I did most of the work to save some money . Took down the chimney and front brick porch then hooked up temp. plumbing . Then I had to cut 16''x16'' pockets through the foundation for the steel I beams . What a fun project , my wife didn't think so . She actually got seasick the first night the house was up on cribbing from the rocking . Did I mention all this for three lousy feet just to put an extension on the existing house .
 

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:eek:That one going down the railroad looks like quite the balancing act

When's the book due out?
 
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