New roof on town’s landmark home completed

Published 2:07 pm Thursday, August 1, 2013

The new roof on the old Foshee house in Maplesville will ensure rain no longer damages the structure's interior.

The new roof on the old Foshee house in Maplesville was completed a week ago and will ensure rain no longer damages the structure’s interior.

Maplesville Historical Society members no longer have to worry about rain damaging the inside of a historic home they are trying to preserve and restore.

The old Foshee house on Alabama Highway 22 near downtown Maplesville has a new roof to protect it from further interior water damage.

Paul Smith of Steadfast Enterprises completed work on the roof at the end of last week.

At its July 8 meeting, the Maplesville Town Council had approved a $13,500 quote from Smith for the roof project.

Built by Noah Foshee in the 1800s, the house sustained extensive damage during the tornados that swept through Chilton County in January 2012.

Historical society members were anxious to replace the blue tarp that had been draped over the roof last year to provide temporary protection from the elements.

The tarp only helped so much, and with every rain, members knew the interior of the house was paying the price for water trickling in through missing sections of the roof.

“Every time it’s rained, I’m thinking, ‘How much water are we getting in it this time?’” Society vice president Clem Clapp said Wednesday. “We feel comfortable that the house is in a protected mode and not leaking anymore. We feel like we’ve saved the structure by finally getting this roof.”

The town assumed ownership of the Foshee house, along with a $10,000 check to be used for repairs, from former owner Ovid Merchant in March 2012.

The town agreed to allow the historical society to oversee restoration efforts of the house and to raise money for repairs.

Clapp said repairs have cost about $27,000 thus far, and the historical society has raised about $17,000 of this amount.

“It’s been a lot of fundraising we’ve done there coming from zero,” Clapp said. “It could take a couple of years to get where we need to. In the long run, it will be worth it.”

Others have pitched in along the way. Street department superintendent Kenny Barrett and Maplesville High School students have done manual labor and cleanup and countless donors who have contributed through the town’s annual Heritage Day event.

Clapp said the next step is for president Joel Atchison and member Wayne Arnold to evaluate the condition of the house’s interior and make a list of structural and cosmetic repairs to be done.

The cost of future repairs is uncertain.

“It’s not going to be a quick fix,” Clapp said. “We want to do the repairs in a manner that would have been acceptable to the house as it previously was.”

The Foshee house restoration project could be discussed at the next Maplesville Historical Society meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the town library.

Anyone in the community is invited to attend.