By :Michalea Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The historic Spain House is mostly in one piece again.
Kosciusko House Movers owner John Williams and his crew have rejoined the two main pieces of the historic home after its early December journey from West Main Street to South Church Street.
“He said everything went back together very nicely,” said Doyce Deas, who serves on the Historic Preservation Commission and is a founding member of the Tupelo Historic Preservation Society. “It withstood the move beautifully.”
The move was funded by a $175,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The city has committed $25,000 toward the project, and Calvary Baptist Church, which needed the house removed from the land at corner of West Main and Madison streets, provided $10,000 for the move.
Now the work will turn toward finishing the foundation, but that work will be dependent on the weather, Deas said. The protection and restoration of the Spain House will be the initial focus for the society.
“The first thing we’re going to need to do is get a new roof on it,” Deas said.
The Historic Preservation Commission will set an organization meeting for the society, likely in late January or early February. Already the society has begun gathering funds locally to help cover insurance and initial expenses. Next will come the work to secure grant funding for the restoration.
“We sure do need public support,” Deas said. “Even small donations make a difference.”
Eventually, Deas said the vision is for the Spain House to become a headquarters for the preservation society and other history-focused organizations. The society eventually could become an advocate for the owners of historic homes, helping them navigate the preservation process.
“We want to create awareness and provide resources,” Deas said.
State and federal tax credits are available for the preservation of historic homes, but there are requirements owners must meet to claim the credits.
“It’s not difficult,” Deas said, “but it may seem overwhelming.”
How to Help
The newly formed, nonprofit Tupelo Historic Preservation Society needs support to take on the intensive restoration of the Spain House. Membership is $35, and additional levels of support are available. Mail donations to THPS, P.O. Box 3115, Tupelo, MS 38803 or call (662) 401-7891.