Hi, I'm Jayne. I've been obsessed with old buildings since I was a little kid and my mom let me go to work with her at the Lafayette County Courthouse. That courthouse was built in 1847 and I spent a lot of time wandering around in there looking at all the cool little architectural details. (And a fair amount of time petting the flocked wallpaper in its library, too.) Even as a child I knew the dropped ceilings and fluorescent light fixtures weren't "right" and I wondered what the place looked like when it was new. I imagined what I would change if I could fix up the Courthouse. (By the way, that was nearly 40 years ago and I still have fantasies of taking over that building and getting rid of all the 1970s yuck that was put in it.) I've done a little bit of work on other people's old houses over the years, while wishing I had an old house of my own.
I bought the Kelly House in November of 2006 after stalking it for a couple of years. After the death of the last previous owner before me, the house had set vacant for five or six years. It was on the market, then off, then on again while the previous owner's daughters decided whether to sell it or keep it. My hopes for ever owning the house went up and down with the For Sale signs.
I liked the house a whole lot just from what I could see by driving by it repeatedly like a teenager with her first crush, but when I walked through it the crush turned into full-on love.
I bought the house six weeks after I first set foot in it. The ladies who owned it had other offers on the house, but they said they wanted to sell it to someone who would love the house and take good care of her. They picked me.
When I bought the house I told my friends I'd have it finished and on the Old Homes Tour in five years. Now, that statement makes me laugh. And cry. Working on this house has been at various times a joy, a frustration, a source of pride, and a disappointment, but it's also always been a labor of love.
The restoration/renovation of The Kelly House is a journey rather than a destination. I've learned a lot along the way. Thanks to all my readers for coming on this journey with me. I appreciate your advice, your humor, your opinions and your support more than you know.