On Saturday we were delighted to have Millie Johnson and her daughter Jean Churilla visit us. They were delighted to see the movie star wallpaper still on the wall next to the basement bathroom so that’s where they posed for this photo. She told us the house was moved with all the furniture in place, she packed her dishes but left 2 glasses in the cupboard, just to see what would happen. They were in the exact spot she left them. It was a painfully slow process to lift and move the house, keeping it completly level.
Millie and her husband Percy Johnson (now-deceased) owned the house from the 1950s through 1984. They moved it in 1974 from its original location near McDonald’s on Hwy 3. Millie brought over a stack of photos of the house and we had them scanned. Click to enlarge.
I wrote a little about the history of the house here but Millie told us that it was cut in half before they owned it. (The photos above are ones I took last summer of the other half of the house a few blocks away on Jefferson Road.)
The owners of the house had a chicken hatchery on the property when she and Percy bought it and long before that, when it was all one building, it had been an inn, called The Old Heidelberg Inn. The numbers on the doors of the upstairs bedrooms (see photos here and here) are evidently from those days
At a recent party, we were told by Northfield history buff and James Gang re-enactment member Chip DeMann that the house was at one time owned by the Ames family, owners of the Ames Mill that eventually became home to Malt-O-Meal.
I really want to find a photo of the house before it had been cut in half. I guess it’s time to make a trip to the Northfield Historical Society and maybe the Northfield News database at the Northfield Public Library.