A restoration worth it’s salt

Published 7:10 pm Saturday, May 5, 2012

Each week during National Preservation Month, Washington’s Historic Preservation Commission and Scott Campbell, an agent with Century 21 The Realty Group, will choose a residential or commercial property in Washington’s historic districts that reflects the on-going maintenance efforts, a compatible addition, rehabilitation and restoration, and the good neighbor award which will reflect compatibility and harmony with existing neighbors.

This week, Dian Darre is being recognized for the residential restoration efforts at 317 E. Main St.

Homeowner Dian Darre grew up loving her childhood home in the Historic District of New Orleans. When she had the opportunity to retire in Washington, she jumped at the chance to purchase and historically renovate her 1800’s salt box.

The home had been used as a rental property and vacant for enough time that it needed love and attention. To quote Dian, “This old house needs work, but the bones are there.”

After researching the house, Dian had a plan to restore it back to its original glory.

The homes cedar plank siding was carefully stripped of the five layers of paint, repaired with a few specially milled like boards, primed and painted. The front entry railing was repaired to original specifications. The broken windows were repaired with reclaimed flow glass that was cut to size. The original wood shutters where discovered in the shed in the back of the house, restored, painted, hung and held back with old shutter dogs. Even the front gate was put back in working order with old chain and a cotton weight to replace the stolen hardware. The old metal roof was prepped, repaired and painted. Inside the house, some of the original hardwood floors were discovered and unveiled under more modern and broken tile. The crumbling fireplace was stabilized and repaired and the wonderful built-in’s were lightly sanded and painted. New paint, some ceiling repair and new appliances and this old salt box is good for another lifetime of memories.

Darre will be awarded the Rena K. Terrell cup, dedicated to the memory of a charter member of the Washington Historic District Commission. Terrell was active in promoting historic preservation. Rena K. Terrell Cup recipients will also have a $100 gift in their honor contributed to the historic district tree reestablishment program. Additional contributions are sponsored by Scott Campbell, an agent with the Century 21 The Realty Group.