BUCKHANNON – A new member of the Buckhannon-Upshur community has started restoring a local historic home built in the 1910s.
Stephanie Rockwell, owner of the 1910 Project WV, moved to Buckhannon in August from south Florida after becoming enchanted with a house in the 70s block of South Florida Street. She visited, and the house, the charm of downtown Buckhannon and the scenic beauty of Upshur County, captivated her.
“I saw the house and I had been looking for an old house to restore and rejuvenate in a small town,” Rockwell said. “I wanted to have something in a town that had a Main Street, so when I saw this house, I said, ‘Why don’t we go check that out?’ And here we are – we bought the house and kicked off the project.”
Rockwell, who works as a digital creator in the field of social media and marketing, decided to start an Instagram account documenting the process of renovating a historical home.
“I’m hoping the story inspires others to do the same thing,” Rockwell said. “These old houses have a lot of history to them, and they’re beautiful. They don’t make them like this anymore – just the wood alone is amazing and the fireplace. All the details of it are amazing. The pocket doors, they still have weights in them. The windows still have weights and cords to them, and those things are important to me.”
The renovations have included replacing the roof and redoing the electrical work.
“We did the whole roof and also the shed roof, which is great,” Rockwell said. “We’ve upgraded the electrical work, which was huge. We still have knob, tube and cloth wires in the house, and they were using gas for all the lighting which you can still see in part of the house. We’re looking forward to bringing it back to its glory, enjoying the space and hopefully sharing it with others.”
Rockwell said the home hasn’t changed owners many times and stayed in one family for many years.
“The Kisers used to live here, and they had seven children, but I don’t think they were the original owners,” Rockwell said. “The house was built in 1910 and then the Kisers moved in. He was a professor at the college and then I think his wife was a high school teacher. They were here for a long time, so this house hasn’t really changed hands, which is nice.”
Her mother’s favorite part of the house is the dining room, with the large bay windows.
“We’re still going through the whole process, so everything’s been my favorite part: I love the common rooms because they’re large, the high ceilings and the beautiful fireplace mantles,” Rockwell said. “My mom loves the dining room because it has a bay window here and I like this sitting room, which has a great view of my office.”
Rockwell hopes to discover more areas of Buckhannon and West Virginia, but so far, she has enjoyed small-town living.
“We went to Seneca (Rocks), which was amazing. I love Main Street – it’s just wonderful,” Rockwell said. “The college is great. We keep walking through the college to see all the leaves changing. It’s just a beautiful town and everyone seems super nice.”
You can follow the progress of Rockwell’s restoration project on Instagram at @1910projectwv.