By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The first phase of restoration work will begin soon on the city-owned Verandah-Curlee House Museum after the Corinth Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved a contractor for the project.
Calenco LLC of Sheffield, Ala., was the winning bidder at $302,856. The other bidder, ISKRA Enterprises of Southaven, submitted a bid of $333,890.
For years, Friends of the Verandah-Curlee House Museum have been holding fundraisers to help pay for the work. Combined with grants awarded for the project by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the National Park Service, funds of about $500,000 are available to pay for the work, said Dave Huwe, director of community development and planning.
Urgent structural problems to be addressed in this first phase include stabilizing the foundation and making the porch more durable, he said. Areas where columns support the roof will be repaired, but rebuilding the deteriorating roof is not part of this project because the money isn’t there for such an extensive project. Other work includes painting and plaster work, which will improve the appearance of the building.
The work must be completed by November – which will coincide well with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Corinth in October – so some of the grant funding won’t be lost.
Verandah House was built in 1857 and was used as headquarters by both Confederate and Union generals during the Civil War.
Asked by Sonny Boatman and Jesse Ables, members of the Verandah Friends group, if the house was being restored to the 1857 structure, Huwe said Archives and History and the National Park Service agreed that it should not be.
Additions to the house were made by the Curlee family who lived there after the war, and questions were raised about whether the additions should be removed in the restoration.