God willing and the creek don’t rise, Historic Westville will finally be moving its first house from Lumpkin, Ga., to Columbus Tuesday morning.
In fact, it can’t be raining at all during the time that the early 1800s-era Wells House is being transported from Westville’s long-time home in Stewart County to its new one off South Lumpkin Road in Columbus.
“Every time we’ve checked the forecast it has changed. If it doesn’t rain in the morning, we’re good,” Darby Britto, Westville’s public relations and marketing director, said late Monday afternoon.
“We’re ready to go and we’ll just wait and see what the weather does. It just can’t be raining between Lumpkin and the new site,” said Britto, pointing out the Wells House already has been loaded on a flatbed and positioned at Westville’s gate so that it doesn’t get stuck in any mud from rain overnight.
The plan is to leave Westville by 9 a.m., with the old dwelling taking an hour or so to arrive at the city limits of Columbus on U.S. Hwy. 27. From there, it will turn left on Fort Benning Road, then right on Torch Hill Road, then left again onto South Lumpkin Road.
“They don’t think it will take them two hours to move it,” Britto said of the transport crews. “But we’re looking for a good two-hour window.”
As of about 6 pm. Monday, the forecast via weather.com showed a slightly elevated chance of rain between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, then slipping to an isolated chance of 15 percent the rest of the morning and afternoon.
Britto said a delay until about noon or so would be fine. The goal is to be finished with the move around 3 p.m., before traffic increases with local residents leaving work.
The movement of all of Historic Westville’s structures will take place over several months. Britto said anyone wishing to view the move to do so at safe pull-off areas such as parking lots. She and her staff also will be attempting to do live Facebook video updates along the way.
There already have been a couple of delays on the project due to infrastructure work needing to be completed by the Columbus Water Works along South Lumpkin Road and Stewart County officials requiring additional information before granting a permit for the move in a portion of that area. But that’s all settled now, Britto said.
“If it doesn’t roll tomorrow, it will roll Wednesday,” she said. “We’re determined now. We have permits in our hands by golly.”