In the fall of 1966, the railroader “bought a house and road it home“, or at least that’s how he described it. Dad, Mom, my brother Larry and I lived on Route 460, west of Bluefield, VA when Virginia DOT upgraded the highway to accommodate 4-lanes of traffic. In doing so, the state purchased many homes/land along the south side of the old 2-lane road for their right of way. Those homes were then sold at auction and the winner of the auction had to move the houses to another location. I remember Bob Chapman from Bank of Tazewell County purchases two or three homes and relocated them just west of Bailey Switch. Three more, including a quaint rock house were relocated to an area west of Shawver’s store.
The railroader purchased this small frame house that once stood across from the White Kitchen Skating Rink. The best I can remember, dad paid about $400 for the home. Other expenses included of course, moving the building, building a foundation and basement on the new lot, and all the additional expense of plumbing/wiring, etc. All in all, the way we see it today – that was a great deal!
The area’s afternoon newspaper (yes, we had two newspapers in those days) the Sunset News ran a feature story on the event and published this image. Dad always got a kick out of saying, “I bought a house and rode it home”. He literally did. I remember (age 12) seeing him on top of the house as they moved down the road. He and several other men had sticks in their hands to lift the power lines out of the way. They held the lines high while walking the length of the house as the house on a big wheeled truck moved slowly west on 460.
Mom was pleased to finally have a house of her own.