The historic Mills House no longer sits near the corner of Oglethorpe and Memorial. Beginning at 8 this morning, the 125-year-old house was moved to its new home in Long County.
“It’s a blessing,” said new owner, Pastor Tim Parrish of Trinity Baptist Church, as two 75-ton cranes prepared to lift the second floor off the house and set it on a trailer Friday afternoon. “It’s taken a long time, and there have been a lot of trials, but it’s finally happening.”
The cranes, provided by Boykin Steelcranes of Jesup, stood like giant book ends on either end of the historic home, with long booms raised above the structure. Workers from T & T House Moving and Heavy Rigging Co. straddled I-beams sticking out the second floor windows, connecting the I-beams to a heavy cable from the booms. When all was in place, the four corners of the second floor were cut through with power saws, the walls having been cut 10 days ago when the house was supposed to move.
“We’ve worked with Boykin before,” Parrish said as he watched T&T owners Tim LaRue Sr. and son check to ensure the second floor was ready to lift. “They did the steeple on our church. They do good work. We got the best folks we could get to move the house and the best we could get to take off the second floor.”
As the cranes simultaneously lifted the second floor, the elder LaRue explained that his company is in its third generation and has moved homes and historic structures for decades.
“My daddy helped build U.S. 301 through this area back in the 1950s,” he said as he signaled for one of his workers to move the truck, pulling the bottom floor forward on a trailer. “He helped move a lot of homes and buildings here.”
The moving route took the Mills House, now in three pieces, down U.S. 84 to Airport Road then onto back roads to the Rye Patch area. The move required law enforcement escort and support from Georgia Power and Canoochee Electric Member Corporation with permits from Georgia Department of Transportation.