The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Homes

March 30, 2013

A sturdy home

200 years ago, Michael and Kenya Long’s home was a log cabin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Just before placing an offer on a home, Kenya Long noticed an interesting listing on a website and convinced her husband, Michael, to simply take a look.

After walking through the rooms, he sat on the step and declared: “This feels like home.”

Not many would have uttered those words at that time. After all, the basement was full of water and no furnace was operating. Still, the couple could visualize the finished project.

“We were looking for a fixer-upper and this one wasn’t as bad as some of the ones we’d looked at,” said Michael, owner of Dawgone Handy, a home improvement business. Capable of completing any project on his own, Michael was not afraid of the long list of repairs.

“We wanted to pay cash and avoid a mortgage,” added Kenya, account manager with Indiana Finance. “Other people bid higher than us at the auction but since we had cash, they took our offer.”

Since the purchase a little over a year ago, the house has seen many updates and changes. But the most interesting feature has remained the same. Although a visitor could not see traces of it from the outside, the home was originally a log cabin built 200 years ago.

Former resident visits

Left as a hallmark to history and a testimony of what lies behind some of the drywall is the dividing wall between the family room and living room. Wood beams that have stood the test of time take center stage and add unusual character to the home.

“We’ve been pulling the history on the house to see who the original owners were,” said Kenya. “We know it was moved here from Mounds Park and that it has been in the neighbor’s family for years and years.”

“One day a 90-year-old man knocked on the door and said he grew up here,” added Michael. “He said he and his family dug the basement by hand and he really wanted to see what the inside looked like today.”

The Longs tore down a room affectionately referred to as “the slanted room” by the neighbors. Fearing it was too askew to save, the couple opted for demolition. Michael built on a spacious master suite which features a great deal of woodwork to match the tone of the rest of the house.

“I built it quickly because I wanted to come inside,” he said. “It was so hot last summer that it was awful to work outside.”

A former owner turned a garage into a laundry room. The couple took this upgrade and transformed the space into a dining room. New flooring appears in several areas and a new front door welcomes visitors.

“The biggest problem with the house is that nothing is square,” said Michael. “It’s tough to replace things when everything in the house is a little off.”

Their daughters Lillee McMillian, 15, and Shyanne Bryant, 14, helped with the demolition and construction.

“They helped more than I did,” said Kenya with a laugh. “I said: ‘That seems like a lot of work for y’all to do. See you when I get home from work.’ Their payment was an above-ground swimming pool.”

Although Michael did not particularly want to live near neighbors, he has found the two acres that stretch behind the house to be enough space to compensate. It also helps that the neighbors have been so friendly and helpful.

“We were ready to buy something and really make it our own,” said Kenya. “We knew this was sturdy and we figured if it has been here for 200-plus years, it’s going to be here for a long time to come.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an email to emmagoldiemeyer@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only
Homes
  • FEA HB0727 Homes 0113 Storage solution The key to creating a beautiful home on a budget is to look beyond the intended purpose of an item, and beyond its appearance. Instead, check for sturdiness of the frame, and the functionality of the components.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0706 Homes 0206 Reduce, reuse, recycle When companies in the food industry are finished with a 50-gallon barrel they use to store and ship perishable items, Leslie White knows just what to do with it. Rather than see it shipped off to a landfill, she outfits the barrel to be an instrument of conservation.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0629 horizontal place4 Memory box project can enhance home decor One of my passions is decorating our home with personal items celebrating family. I also love doing projects that are easy, fast and cheap. Creating a memory box combines both of those interests.

    June 28, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0626 Elliott home Garden Walk shows off greenery Both of Ellen Elliott’s parents were gardeners when she was growing up. Her mom and dad taught her all about growing tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other vegetables and plants when she was a small child.

    June 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0622 homes_0173 Creating their garden Excited to be on the 16th Annual Tour of the Madison County Master Gardener Association, Sandy Hampton has been working hard to ensure everything is perfect for this Saturday.

    June 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0608 1418 Condo living Since Herb and Betty Pruett were drawn to this area via Anderson University – and they met walking the campus byways – it is only fitting they have retired to University Village, the condominiums with a direct connection to the school.

    June 7, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0701 Homes 1169 Family treasures Follow Betty Tufts through her home and she will lift treasure after treasure that prompts a story of family. From knickknacks that were given to sketches that were drawn to features of the house that were installed, the pieces of her home are the calling cards of the ones who love her.

    May 31, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0525 - HOMES 1290 Just a few tweaks left in renovation of old house At times, I thought the day would never come. On other occasions, it seemed like the finish line was just within my sights only to move forward with each step I took.

    May 24, 2014 7 Photos

  • FEA HB0511 Homes 1167 Making room for the music When George and Norma Smith built their home in 1967, they had family in mind. The location provided the opportunity for their three sons to attend Lapel Community Schools and the floor plan ensured that each one could claim a bedroom of his own.

    May 10, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0504 Homes 1134(1) Retirement living When Dr. J. G. Pierce, a local dentist for 40 years, decided it was time to leave his home in favor of a retirement community, he set his eye on Primrose.

    May 3, 2014 6 Photos

Galleries
Photographers’ pick
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Do you plan to attend one of the public sessions about the Mounds Lake reservoir project?

Yes
No
Not sure yet
     View Results