- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) - One of the oldest homes in Centerville is now one of the oldest homes in Warner Robins.

Fish Brothers House Movers on Nov. 20 relocated a 2,000 square-foot home from where it was constructed on Elberta Road nearly a century ago. The home, dubbed Coleman Cottage, is now at Wellston Park, where it will serve as office and meeting space for the new park.

The move started about 7:35 a.m. with police escort and took about 45 minutes. After maneuvering the house through some tight turns, the crew pulled it onto a concrete slab that had been poured at the park.

Cress Varnadoe, owner of the moving company, drove the 1979 International truck that pulled the house to its new location. Although traffic was blocked in all directions as the house made turns, traffic was not held up for long.

“I thought it went pretty good,” Varnadoe said after the trip was over.

Another truck drove ahead with a pole mounted to the front that was set at the same height as the house. That was to test whether the house could go under power lines and to determine the best spot to cross under lines.

The trickiest part of the trip was when the turn was made off of Watson Boulevard onto Olympia Drive, where Wellston Park was located. There wasn’t enough space to turn the house onto Olympia Drive, which the movers had already determined ahead of time. The house was instead pulled over the curb and through a parking lot, then barely squeezed between two utility poles, to get to its final destination.

At times, especially when going over the curb, the house creaked loudly. But Varnadoe said before the move he wasn’t worried the house would be damaged.

“They built these old homes solid,” he said.

Although the actual move didn’t take that long, it was months in the making. Volunteers with Wellston Trees and Greens worked on it many Saturday’s over the summer to get it ready for the move. That included dismantling three chimney’s and removing the front porch. The roof was removed last week because it was too tall for the move. The house will remain covered with a tarp until the roof is rebuilt.

One of the chimneys and the porch will also be rebuilt to give the house a look close to original. The house was donated and the total cost of the move, including the foundation and restoration of the house, is $36,000, said Jim Taylor, vice chairman of Wellston Trees and Greens. The cost of the move alone is $24,000.

Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms was there to see the house arrive at the park. He said the park could open within a couple of months.

“It was exciting to see this moving down Watson,” Toms said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

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Information from: The Macon Telegraph, https://www.macontelegraph.com

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