PRESERVING History: Enormous renovation delivers new lifetime to Rockwell Property | News

A historic assets on the south side of Milledgeville has experienced new daily life breathed into it. Thanks to 3 industrious traders, attendees can now enjoy all this historic house has to offer.

When the Rockwell House turned available for buy, we saw a fantastic option to resurrect an nearly-misplaced historic treasure and imagine a future for the assets that supported the encompassing the community,” mentioned Ross Sheppard, an agent with Ansley True Estate who specializes in historic properties.

Sheppard, together with promoting specialist Will Walker and Jacob Hawkins, executive director of the Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Basis, purchased the Rockwell Residence in 2019 and set out to restore the assets and maintain a piece of Baldwin County record. Sheppard said the conclusion was primarily based on a mutual appreciation for neighborhood heritage.

“We’ve all grown up and lived in communities that have found problems to their historic material,” reported Sheppard. “We want to enable preserve the vivid histories of Ga while making area for them to thrive in modern entire world.”

The group leveraged their put together talents to see their job to fruition. Sheppard has been a actual estate agent considering the fact that the age of 18 and has knowledge in navigating the method of historic preservation. That, blended with the marketing, conversation and income experience introduced to the desk by Walker and Hawkins, has allowed the trio to pull off a enormous turnaround for the Rockwell House.

Constructed in the 1830s, the Rockwell Dwelling is named for its initial occupant, Colonel Samuel Rockwell, a attorney who moved from Maine to Ga alongside with the building’s architect, Joseph Lane. Two many years later, the house was owned by Governor Herschel Johnson, the leader of the Ga anti-secession movement. 

The house obtained even additional notoriety in the next century as the property of the Ennis loved ones from 1915 till the 1960s. Marion Ennis was a person of the victims of the notorious Stembridge murders of 1953, activities that were being immortalized in Pete Dexter’s fictional retelling, Paris Trout.

“We were fortunate enough to have Marion’s son, Buddy Ennis, come for a check out and share some of his stories from childhood,” mentioned Sheppard.  “He showed us his child footprints in the concrete at the foundation of the again porch measures.”

The house was sold in the 1960s and scarcely escaped destruction by fireplace prior to getting marketed after all over again in 1971 to Cecil and Joanne Ogden. Sheppard credits the Ogdens for investing in significant structural updates that kept the making standing right until he and his group ordered it in 2019.

“The Odgens did the most crucial get the job done to secure the house, such as holding the roof in excellent issue,” said Sheppard. “While the Ogdens ended up not able to continue on the restoration of the house, it really is many thanks to them that Rockwell is nevertheless standing.”

Sheppard admits that it was a significant enterprise to deal with the renovations to carry the Rockwell Household to wherever it is now. Section a person of the project associated addressing what Sheppard calls “critical systems” of the property, including new electrical, plumbing and central heating and air conditioning, as perfectly as the rebuilding of a fireplace that experienced collapsed and the building’s complete back porch. Phase two dealt with “superficial restoration” these kinds of as plaster fix, the modernization of the current loos and the addition of two new bathrooms in the upstairs suites. Vinyl flooring was pulled up in the kitchen area, and all of the home’s first wooden floors had been sanded and refinished. Sheppard claimed the team also worked with outside the house companions to replicate the primary moldings in the dining space as properly as probable. 

When the trio labored with several exterior contractors, they are happy of how a lot work they had been equipped to do on their own. Additional renovation plans are coming down the road as perfectly, which include restoring the primary picket windows and introducing shutters to mirror the home’s original design and style.

With the recent closure of the Antebellum Inn in downtown Milledgeville, Sheppard suggests he and his co-traders noticed an possibility to fill that void in the current market with the restoration of the Rockwell Dwelling.

“We all appreciate Milledgeville’s historic web pages and tales and have an understanding of how considerably of a profit historic tourism is for the community,” stated Sheppard. “We’re thrilled to have stepped in to open up the Rockwell Household for visitors looking for a historic residence to absolutely working experience – from internet hosting events to being in the property.”

The Rockwell Property can accommodate up to 14 overnight visitors and attributes 4 guest suites, each individual with its individual private bath, sitting down area and Tv set. Sheppard describes the suites as “spacious and relaxed … with a wonderful mix of antique and modern-day parts so the layout feels welcoming and inviting.” 

Every single suite can be rented by unique parties, or groups can decide on to lease the whole dwelling for their stay. There are also various widespread areas in the household, which includes a library, thoroughly equipped and updated kitchen and a front parlor featuring a self-playing little one grand piano. The home also attributes a significant again porch overlooking a pond on the 12-acre home. The Rockwell Property also welcomes reservations for group activities these as weddings and household gatherings.

The home opened for reservations in December, and the team has currently viewed a positive response.

“We hosted our initial company in December 2020, and items have been buying up fairly rapidly. So far, the assessments have been great,” claimed Sheppard. 

Sheppard says that he and his team are very pleased to convey new life to a historic assets that could have conveniently been lost several moments during its history. 

The south facet of Milledgeville has a wealthy history and robust local community, but a critical lack of expense. Though Rockwell was passed in excess of by a lot of, we quickly envisioned a bustling pillar of exercise for the Midway group,” mentioned Sheppard. “This was a passion job and we’re proud of ourselves, but we are just as happy to have a little something that we can share with the local community.”

People interested in mastering additional can take a look at the property’s web site at www.rockwellhousega.com.