Saturday, February 4, 2012

A new idea for my blog

Wow - March 31st was my last post. I bet all three of you have been waiting with baited breath for this! I am happy to report, however, that I have a new topic about which to blog. Russell and I are doing ANOTHER renovation! That's right, after taking a little time off to have two kids, start a company and begin a new job, we finally got the itch to renovate again. It took us a while to work up to wanting to put all of that energy towards another project, but we finally realized that we were facing a once in a lifetime opportunity and we just had to grab it.
You'll understand why I wanted to write this blog after I tell you a little bit about the house's history. Also, because of the size of the house, it is going to be quite a big project, so I thought I'd put my ideas out here and garner feedback! This renovation will take a while and each decision that we make will be a big deal, so be honest! I look forward to documenting this process, and I hope that this forum will give friends and family who don't live nearby a chance to feel a part of this project.
Now, a little bit about the house! "The Milton House" was built in 1915 by George and Abby Milton in the ritziest neighborhood in town at the time - Fortwood, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Prominent neighbors included T.C. Thompson - Mayor of Chattanooga from 1909-1915 and after whom TC Thompson Children's Hospital was named; Samuel Read - owner of The Read House, an important Chattanooga hotel; William G. McAdoo - a two time presidential contender and builder of New York City's Holland Tunnell (also known as the McAdoo Tunnell), and JP Smartt - a wholesale distributor of shoes and books. An exciting side note regarding the Smartt house - only two doors down from the Milton house - is that our very close friends just moved in last June! Hadley is very excited about this because her best friend Vivan - only 3 days older than she - will be her neighbor!
All of this being said, we feel honored to be able to become the next owners of The Milton House. I definitely feel a weight of responsibility to take care of the house and make its former owners proud. Heaven knows they could be still living there! Post on whether or not the house is haunted to come....
I will have to make a post about the various owners of the house at some point. There is actually a complete list of owners, and at one time it was even a bed and breakfast! Because of that, each room had an en-suite bath put in, so the house is very welcoming to visitors. This is really one of the main reasons that Russell and I decided to buy the house. We love to entertain and to have friends and family come and stay. Our little house on Jarnigan, no matter how beloved, just didn't allow us to have visitors like we would have liked, especially after having kids. Now we will have ample space for the grandmas (who have all chosen their rooms already) and friends alike (Boires, there is a whole floor for you). And oh yeah, there's a pool.
There will obviously be much more to come, but in closing check out the picture that I posted. It was taken around 1920 in front of the house, and the ladies who are in the car are part of a parade to drum up support for the women's suffrage movement. Perhaps one of the neatest things about this house is that Abby Crawford Milton was the president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage League, and she was instrumental in getting the 19th amendment signed in 1920. Tennessee was the final state to ratify the amendment that gave women the right to vote, and we are going to live in the house that one of the most important people to that cause built. Wow! If its haunted, I hope its her!
Closing is tomorrow, and our "cavalry"- as our contractor like to call them - of workers will descend Tuesday to tear down wall paper, tear out ceilings, fix plumbing, tile bathroom floors, remove carpet, paint, refinish hardwood get the drift. The plan is to take Chattanooga's "decorator showcase house" from 1993 into the 21st century! Pic and details to follow. Until then, wish us luck!


  1. I think that you and Russell will do a great job in restoring this place!

  2. You ARE crazy! Just kidding, sort of :) You and R. are the ones for this. I can't even get Phil to patch the hole in our ceiling from a leaky tub. Want to come visit Orlando (and bring your joint compound)?

    Excited for you guys and looking forward to seeing the progress!

  3. I am so excited for you guys and this new adventure! You have made me want to do a few things around here. :) Can't wait to hear more and see pictures to come!