Couple restores family house for new home

Published 12:26 am Monday, October 1, 2007

NATCHEZ — Susannah Heatherly and her family are restoring a house her mother and grandmother spent years in. They hope to turn it into a place they, too, can call home.

When Hurricane Katrina brought a rush of people looking for new houses, the Heatherlys decided to put their old house on the market.

“We said, ‘Let’s just see what happens,’” Heatherly said.

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Besides, Heatherly and her husband, Wade, along with their three children, ages 3, 5 and 8, needed more space.

After two months on the market, the house sold. The Heatherlys moved into Susannah’s parents house at 203 Dana Road.

Soon afterward, Susannah’s grandmother became ill and had to go to the hospital. The Heatherlys decided to fix up her 109 Washington St. house. However, she ended up moving to a nursing home.

The Heatherlys pressed on with the project, and when Susannah’s grandmother passed away, the 1870s house went to her family.

It hasn’t been an easy process, Heatherly said. The ceiling needed fixing, but after a little demolition, it turned out the walls needed to come down. Then, another surprise — no insulation. Not to mention the sinking floors.

“So what started out as patching a ceiling turned into ripping out a whole room,” she said.

Thanks to contractors and hard work, the house is beginning to look more like a home again, and the family hopes to move in before Christmas.

“We’ll still be renovating,” Heatherly said.

In spite of the work, the Heatherlys are happy to have inherited the house.

“It’s very exciting,” Heatherly said. “I was so close to my grandmother. I’ve got so many wonderful memories, and the kids do, too. We’d go over to see her almost every day. They love it over there.”