100-Year-Old Odenton House Moving To New Location
By SARA BLUMBERG
The Capital of Annapolis
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — On Saturday, Chad Atwood and his wife, Valerie Francis, plan to pick up a piece of Odenton history and move it five minutes down the street.
After 100 years at 1401 Annapolis Road, the Jones House will be moved to its new location on Odenton Road.
“I’ve never seen a whole house moved before, it should be exciting for the community,” Atwood said.
The home, deemed a historical landmark by the county, was built by railway worker Leonard Jones, who worked at the Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad telegraph station in Odenton, said Roger White of the Odenton Heritage Historical Society.
The “Jones House stands out because three generations of railroad workers used to live there,” he said.
The wood-frame home is two stories high and painted bright red. Atwood became interested in the property after going in and finding that nearly all of the home’s fixtures, including the molding, doors and fireplace mantels, were in great shape.
The owner of the home, Reliable Contracting, had been struggling to incorporate the home into its plans for a housing development.
After finding out that Atwood was interested in buying parts of the house, the Reliable Contracting offered to give him the house and pay to move it. The company declined to comment on the move.
“Chad came home in total mad glee, got down on his hands and knees, and begged for us to figure this out,” said Francis, who wasn’t sure how they were going to move the house.
The couple hired a professional moving company that specializes in transporting buildings.
“I was told moving this house would be pretty easy,” Francis said.
If the move goes well, the couple also plan to take the Disney House, another 19th-century home identified as historically significant.
Since the Jones House was declared historical only by the county and not the National Historic Trust, the building had to remain intact, but could be moved to another part of the community. If the house had been declared historical on a national level, it could not be moved.
For the last two years, the couple worked to figure how they would move the home. They spent nearly $180,000 in permit fees and to purchase a new property to place the home.
“It has been a completely insane and a wild learning process. None of which I had envisioned in my personal life plan,” Francis said.
Overall, community members sees the move as a positive thing.
“It’s great to keep the history of Odenton alive. It’s important to preserve structures like these,” White of the Odenton Heritage Historical Society said.
Atwood and Francis plan to remodel and rent the house out. They are also planning to add a wooden foundation.
“We hope to be finished by the end of this summer,” Francis added.
The moving of the Jones House will occur Saturday morning starting at 8. The house will be placed across the street from the historic Epiphany Episcopal Church in the historic village area of Odenton.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)