When WMSA took on the Dula House restoration project, we knew it would be a challenge. Inch by inch we’ve moved the project forward and now we’re starting to see some real changes.
Tonight, I was at the house and saw a big piece of the back canopy gone. It’s being saved, and will become part of the Friendship Brewery right down the street. We knew the old pipe canopy would need to come off–that was added much later in the home’s history and we knew it would need to be removed for the foundation to be repaired (the house still sits on the original stone foundation from the 1800’s). The original tobacco barn is now much more visible, as it once was, and it’s very exciting to see. But that wasn’t really why I was there.
I was there to map out the old front porch. While it was once a beautiful feature of the original home, time has taken it’s toll and the sad old porch is beyond repair. Cracked, rotted, and overgrown with poison ivy and weeds, the 2-story porch will be taken completely off this summer and eventually rebuilt just like the original. As I walked and measured, I couldn’t help but consider all of the history that has walked across that porch. The families, the people, the stories–going back to the 1800’s. That porch has welcomed thousands of people from many eras and seen the world become a much different place than when it was built. Can you imagine how much things have changed in Wentzville, and the world, since the time those porch columns were first set right after the Civil War? Frankly it’s amazing to consider, at least for me.
As you can see in one of the photos attached, eventually the light started to fade and it was time for me to move on. As the sun set and I started to pull away, I was struck by one overwhelming thought….
This place really does matter.
Update: This Saturday, July 8th, at 9 AM we’re taking the old porch completely down. While we have professionals lined up to detach the porch from the house and remove the columns safely, we will need help just cleaning up a bit (walking the old pieces out to the dumpster, really). Coffee, Donuts, and Water on us! Plan on 1-2 hours in the morning. Happy to give a tour of the inside while we’re there as well! 9:00 am start time!!!