Our Projects Vincent Allen Project

Exterior clean-up day at the Allen House!

March 31, 2019

It was a beautiful spring day out at the Allen House in Vance County, North Carolina! We had temperatures in the upper 70’s! We had volunteers, some past volunteers joined us and we had some new faces! It’s always fun showing the house and sharing the history with new volunteers.

Today we were just focusing on the exterior and let me tell you, I’m already feeling it! It was like a CrossFit workout! We were rolling cinder blocks from one side of the property to the other, we were dragging logs and tree limbs, we were raking, we were hoisting stuff up into the dumpsters. And the volunteer crew worked like champs without complaining!

Let’s meet the volunteers. My twelve year old daughter, Claire, joined us today. She is a second degree black belt, this should have been a breeze for her considering she takes two hour classes doing squats and kicks. She said this wore her out! She did find a little friend today, a Dekay’s Brown snake we affectionately named Vincent Allen.

Today we watched Claire going through boxes and boxes of Ms. Marable’s trinkets and stuff that she left behind. She made every volunteer feel like they HAD to leave with something! So she came up with a GREAT idea! Our next cleanup day she is setting up a table out front by the gates. Selling all of Ms. Marable’s items she left behind. The stuff we still have isn’t bad! A lot of it is brand new in boxes. Claire said she would give all of the money over to us for the new roof! She will also be selling lemonade, maybe baked goods, etc.


We also had Thomas Bergdolt join us today. He is Claire’s age. His dream is to be a Historic Preservationist. For Christmas one year his mom contacted me and said he loved my page and it would be a thrilling gift if she could surprise him with an exploration day with me for Christmas. Of course I said yes and we did go exploring together. He is a very smart young man and has a stellar future at anything he does, but I think he is very partial to old architecture. Thomas had his father and step mother with him. We understand that there are now children that enjoy historic preservation and the idea of restoring an old house. We have been very strict in the past and not allowing anyone under the age of 18 on the premises. It is NOT a safe environment. So if you have kids that are interested, message or email me. It will be a case by case thing.

We had Mary Ann Potter join us today. She has NEVER missed a single volunteer day! If you watch the Facebook Live video at the top of this post you will hear her talk about her farm animals. They are all named after Andy Griffith characters! We love Mary Ann!

We also had Lynda Rider join us. She has a history restoring old houses. This was her second time joining us and glad she came to help out. She loves to garden and she was a big help! Then we had Jody from Wake Forest join us. She was a total surprise today! She has been a long time follower and we first met a couple of years ago at an archaeological event in Wake Forest at the Ailey Young House. We had a nice hug seeing each other again!

We also had Larry Leach and Tom join us! Most of you know Tom, he is Mr. Amato’s son-in-law. Larry is another volunteer that has been with us before. He owns a historic house and his help has been invaluable. We always say he is the hardest worker! He stops long enough to eat lunch and then he keeps working till we all leave.

Today was a great day. The farm vultures made sure we knew they were around towards the end of the afternoon. We are pretty sure they are nesting in an old barn. And Baxter, the dog, showed up! He is VERY skittish and very skinny. He does have shelter, water and food. He even had some leftover pizza. Tom said if he can get him accustomed to him, he will take him home. He is 1/2 mile from the Allen House. I am hopeful he will get used to him.

We made great progress on the exterior! I attached the Facebook Live video to the top of this post for Instagram followers. But keep in mind, not watching it live makes for a jerky, unstable video experience! But you will see the progress we made, meet the volunteers, see the family cemetery and get a taste of what happens out there on volunteer days! Come join us in April!