Happy Monday! We’re happy, because we heard from Ken Smith that the architectural drawings for our renovation of The Hermit Haus (the old church) are finished. Now we can get moving on that one, at last.
We’re still waiting on the title issues to be resolved before we can go ahead with the Gillis House, but in the meantime I’m doing lots of research on the history of Cameron and that house. When we officially get it, you will have a lot of fun reading. I’m getting help from Melanie Reed at the Chamber of Commerce, who has found some maps I want to get my hands on.
In the meantime, I saw in the news that my favorite love/hate couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines are also buying a historic property, one that really reminds me of the one we looked at in Cameron last week. Check out that link for some cool pictures of the Cottonland Castle. Here’s a little on its history.
Meanwhile, in Cameron, we are not the only folks fixing up houses. Our friend, Susan Jolly, has gone through a lot of trouble and effort to get all the permissions lined up to do what will be an amazing rehab of an old building in the “Dutch Town” area of the city, over by where the railroad depot used to be. The building started out as a department store, then was a grocery store, once had a tailor shop in back, and now half of it is a restaurant (the DutchTowne Deli and Cafe).
We are so glad this is going to get worked on, since many of the old buildings in the area have fallen into disrepair. Just last month some old warehouses were razed.
We took a tour of the parts of the building that are not the restaurant, which actually is most of the building. Wow, you could actually SEE the history in there. For example, you can see where the stairs to the tailor shop used to be. Many old light fixtures are still there. The beautiful tin ceilings go all the way through, except where some have fallen off. When they take the fancy ceiling off the parts of the renovation that don’t need it, they’ll have plenty for future repairs. That’s cool.
The plan is to make a much bigger restaurant with a bar area and a large, professional kitchen with a big cold storage room (currently they have a bunch of refrigerators and freezers in the unused part of the building). They’ll be able to be open for dinners, and to do larger-scale catering. Since the restaurant is already very popular, this will be a great asset for the community.
Susan knows a treasure when she sees one, so she has collected many old parts of this building and some that have had to be torn down in the area. There are old doors, windows with original glass, cigar boxes aplenty, and a really cool sliding door mechanism that she plans to turn into a barn-style door that will separate the parts of the restaurant.
Even the bricks that the building is made from are treasures! They are four layers thick! Now, that’s some insulation. It also explains how well the building has stood up to the shifting ground over time. The first part of the renovation has been to clean and repair the brick on three sides of the building.
The front still needs to be done, and they’ll have to close the restaurant for a few days while that’s going on. But I can just imagine how great it will look afterward!
As you can see, it takes the whole community to Move Cameron Forward, but there are many hard-working business owners out there ready to do their part. We hope to feature more in the future.
Here are a few more photos of the fascinating building, just waiting to move into the future thanks to its loving owners.