It may be hard to believe, but we're already approaching the first anniversary of the Louisa County earthquake. That 5.8 magnitude tremor was felt all over the east coast.
The Cuckoo house is one of Louisa County's greatest historical landmarks, and it was nearly destroyed in the earthquake last year. There's still a lot more work to be done here, but nearly one year later, there are some remarkable signs of progress.
It's the first thing you see on your way into town, and this national historic landmark has been here since 1818; a part of the Pendleton family going on seven generations.
"This house is a landmark in our community. It's a family treasure. It has so many wonderful memories. I can't imagine leaving it just to fall down," said Dr. Jane Pendleton Wootton, who almost didn't get a choice.
On August 23, 2011, the earthquake rattled the chimneys off, and cracked so many walls and ceilings that a nearly total restoration was required.
ANDY: "This is a brand new wall?"
GLENN: "This is a brand new wall."
Glenn Courson of RTW Construction oversees the construction, including new bricks, and wiring...and along the way, he's discovered remnants of the home's historic past.
"We found this up in the attics, which is probably a little girl's sock...from the 19th Century. It's in pretty good shape," Courson said.
Discoveries like that make the setbacks a little easier to take. The work is time consuming, and expensive...more than a million dollars, Jane said. There was no earthquake insurance, and no FEMA money. Only what she felt, was an obligation to make this local landmark look like new again.
"I just think it would be incredibly sad not to do everything we could. We had to really make a commitment right from the beginning," she said.
It may still be too early to know for sure when this house will be ready. But Jane thinks the family may be able to start moving things in by February of next year.
The Cuckoo house is named after the Cuckoo Tavern which occupied the property in the 1800's.
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