Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come – Part I

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  We have recently made an announcement that High Point Farms has purchased one of our neighbor’s houses and we are in the midst of converting it into future “guest lodging”; i.e The Bluebird Cottage.  We went from purchase, to planning its renovations, to some light demolition, to some reconstruction, and beginning to complete our phase one.  As I wait just a bit for our “reveal” photos, I thought it tmight be interesting to take a small journey back in time a bit – to show you where the farm has come from – prior to its makeover as well as the old farmhouse.  Now that we have 3 years under our belt, I feel like I can show the before and after pictures and tell a bit of the story.
   Let me start with the farmhouse.  The above picture is what the farmhouse looked like in the mid-70’s when my parents first purchased the farm.  Their initial plan was to renovate and expand the farmhouse but after pulling off the back lean-to part of the rear of the house, they discovered some structural damages that were going to cause too much of a challenge – so they opted to build a new house instead.   Here are a few of those early farmhouse pictures – the one on the left shows the back of the farmhouse as it looked at the time of purchase. The photo on the right shows where the lean-to porch and bathroom coming off of the rear of the house had been removed revealing many of its structural issues.

  After my parents went to their Plan B, the farmhouse just “sat” for years.The back torn off area had been boarded up to “stop the bleeding.”  It became more or less a storage building for old furniture and such. Even when I got married – we opted to build our own farmhouse on a far corner of the farm property. Again – years passed and the farmhouse continued to sit.  We would patch the farmhouse  roof, replace some doors, do what we could to keep the farmhouse standing – hoping that somehow, someday, we would have the resources to tackle something more significant.. 
  The farmhouse became a backdrop of the past. Some people would tell us ” you need to just bulldoze down that old house!” while some would lament “you should restore that old house – it has history with so many various families from the valley.” We always had hope that someday – we would be able to restore it….in the meantime, I was busy raising my kids and had plenty on my plate besides a major makeover of the farmhouse.
  Nine years ago, a twist of fate happened.  Jill (my daughter and partner in thiswedding venue) decided to get married here at the farm. She wanted to get married out in the hayfield under the shadow of Lookout Mountain – and she said we would have the reception in the barn. Back then – barn weddings were barely heard of. We were not the first but it was very uncommon and none near here that I am aware of.  With the wedding being held in the front field – we decided a little sprucing up of the farmhouse would be in order…and little did we know then that this would be the beginning of more than their marriage but the beginning of a huge change for our families and of the farm.
  More to come as the story continues with the transition of the barn – watch for Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come –  Part II.