When Pat and Sue Sheehan bought the century-old Ocean Springs cottage in 1983, they heard from neighbors it had originally sat on the beach road but was moved in 1905 to make room for a mansion.|
420 Martin Ave. had undergone several updates, which the Sheehans undid to return it as closely as possible to an 1880s house.
After Katrina knocked it off the foundation and battered walls and the porch, the Sheehans were able to pull some china from under the house. They believe other family treasures await under the house when the cottage is raised.
"I doubt we'll bulldoze it," said Pat, an attorney. "It has a lot of artifacts and materials that can be salvaged. It's a question of whether it's cost-effective.
"It's still my penchant to rebuild, but it does take awhile to get it all together."
The cottage looks much as it did after the storm, its charm evident despite the damage.
"We have a dearth of historical houses now and this one is salvageable," he said. "I think it's more marketable as a historic home than if you tore it down and built a $300,000 structure. What you'd have is a $300,000 structure, but if you put $300,000 into a historical home, you'd have more value.
"Living in it will probably not be my choice. I'll let Sue decide. I'd be happy where we are but I'd be happy back there, too."
- KAT BERGERON