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Historic Shelton Home in Refugio moved to new location

By MATTHEW BUSCH
July 23, 2014 at 2:23 a.m.
Updated July 24, 2014 at 2:24 a.m.

Movers eat lunch under the old Shelton house they are moving in Refugio to its new location off Power Street on Wednesday. Its  owners, D.L. and Ann Johnson, bought it from Snappy Foods in Refugio. The Johnsons will live in the house as they renovate other properties they own nearby.

ABOUT THE HOUSE

This two-story Victorian mansion at 809 S. Alamo St., was originally built by Ben Shelton, who started a business at Blanconia in Bee County. A little more than two years later he moved to Refugio and there set up as a general merchandiser in May 1907. In 1907, Shelton built a "little bungalow" that was located to the north of the current Shelton house. In 1927 the bungalow was moved to the 809 S. Alamo location and additions were started including a second story.

SOURCE: refugiocountytx.org

REFUGIO -- Refugio residents stood in awe as the historic Shelton mansion was uprooted and slowly moved from its original location on South Alamo Street to its new home off Power Street on Wednesday.

With each turn carefully plotted and measured, Ram House Movers worked to take down power lines, remove telephone poles and slowly, inch by inch, move the two-story house down the main and back roads of Refugio.

Edgar Dodson, who assisted on the project, said the 220,000-pound house was carefully lifted onto hydraulic-controlled dollies before being transported.

"Beams are strategically set to carry weight," Dodson said.

People parked their trucks nearby or pulled out chairs from their houses to watch the movers work their way down the streets. Parked nearby in an all-terrain vehicle, Barry Beuershausen and his wife, Marilyn, sat and watched as workers navigated the house from West Ymbacion Street onto Power Street.

Beuershausen remembers the Shelton house when it was a doctor's office with offices on the second floor.

Fellow spectator LaDonna Marquis recalled when it was a bed and breakfast a few years ago and the home of the Lunchbox cafe owners before that.

The current owners, D.L. and Ann Johnson, of Corpus Christi, bought the house from the owners of Snappy Foods, which will build a store at the home's now old location. The Johnsons plan to live in the Shelton house in its new location as they renovate another one of their properties next door.

Lilly Wilkinson, president of Ram House Movers, said the move took a lot of planning, but was well worth it.

"This is a great home. I'm glad we could save it," she said.

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