Historic house rebuilding after fire - WNEM TV 5

Historic house rebuilding after fire

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The holiday season would normally be one of busiest times of the year for the Whaley Historic House Museum; but after a Nov. 30 fire, the activity is from a disaster recovery crew.

"They began work immediately to dry out the house.  We had several different teams come in to take our artifacts different places," said executive director, Samantha Engel.

Engel said most of the artifacts, some dating back to the 1800s, were saved. Now, crews are working to gut portions of the house.

"Once they finished drying the house, then, they've had to begin taking out pieces of wall, pieces of ceiling, taking up the hardwood floors," Engel said.

During the process of restoration, new discoveries are being made, such as this gas line used for lighting the house.

However, these findings come at a cost.

"Right now, walking through and seeing the walls that have been torn down, sub-floors and things like that, plaster walls that have been there for a hundred years," Engel said. "That's difficult, but at the same time we're uncovering sort of new secrets: different flooring from painted floor boards that were underneath floorboards."

The Whaley House Historical Association expects the museum to be restored and fully operational by late summer, but you might be able to explore the house sooner.

"We do plan on remaining active throughout that time whether that's through off-site programming, or even opportunities to have tours of the house to see some really interesting features that can be uncovered when you start tearing out walls," Engel said.

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